At least three explosive devices blew up outside the houses of Shiite rebel leaders on Monday in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, security officials said, according to reports. The bombs were aimed at checkpoints and houses belonging to leaders of the Shiite Houthis' Ansarullah movement.
Eight people were injured in the blasts and three of them are reportedly in critical condition. According to a report from The Associated Press (AP), three explosive devices blew up at the location and officials dismantled five other bombs while Reuters reported that five bombs had detonated and officials defused two bombs. The country has seen several clashes between Houthis and local al Qaeda militants and Sunni tribesmen, who support the Islamist Islah Party.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which was formed in 2006, regards the Houthi rebels as dissenters and has claimed responsibility for two previous attacks in Sanaa, which is under Houthi control. AQAP was formed as a merger of its branches in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and is considered one of the deadliest branches of al Qaeda by the U.S. Washington has also used drones to target militants from the group in Yemen, according to Reuters.
Last week, three people were killed in Sanaa after a car loaded with explosives crashed into the residence of Iranian Ambassador Hossein Niknam. According to Reuters, AQAP took responsibility for the attack.
On Saturday, a South African teacher Pierre Korkie and an American journalist Luke Somers, who were being held hostage by AQAP, were killed when U.S. Special Forces raided a facility, in Dafaar in Shabwa province, in an attempt to rescue Somers. American officials have so far denied knowing that negotiations were ongoing to free Korkie on Sunday and that both captives were being held in the same place.