A suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle at a military checkpoint in the southern Yemeni city of Aden today, killing at least seven people and wounding eight. A number of the slain were said to be security forces, but the exact figures were not available yet.
This was the second bombing in as many days in Aden, the de facto capital of the pro-Saudi faction in Yemen. Yesterday’s bombing targeted the presidential palace, killing 11 people and wounding several others, including a general.
In both cases, the local ISIS affiliate claimed credit for the strikes, adding to concerns that the group’s Yemen affiliate is growing larger and more operational. Though ISIS has launched attacks before in Yemen, they’ve previously targeted Shi’ite mosques, mostly in the north.
As the pro-Saudi south increasingly targets Islamists in an effort to control its limited territory, ISIS seems to be keen to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with against both the north and south. This allows them to differentiate from the larger al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), whose operations in Yemen are increasingly restricted to the southeast.