A pair of bombers affiliated with the nation’s fledgling ISIS affiliate targeted the southern Yemeni port city of Mukallah, only recently recovered by pro-Saudi forces from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The attacks killed at least 47 Yemeni police and wounded over 50 others.
The main attack targeted a line of police recruits at a recruitment center, with a bomber infiltrating the line and detonating a suicide belt, killing 41 and wounding a large number of others. The second bomber targeted the provincial security chief, Gen. Mubarak al-Oubthani at the same center, killing six police guarding him.
The ISIS group in Yemen has been active throughout the war, but this is one of the rare times when they launched an attack outside of one of the capital cities. Early in the war, almost all attacks targeted Shi’ites in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, and more recently has targeted the southern “interim” capital of Aden.
The group’s targeting of Mukallah is particularly noteworthy, as in addition to attacking the existing powers in Yemen, ISIS has been trying to compete as the top Islamist group in the nation, with the larger AQAP, whose city the attacks targeted.