This story has been updated. Suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and injured 200 Friday during noon prayers at two mosques in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. Worshippers at the mosques were primarily supporters of the Houthi rebel movement that have seized control of the city, the BBC reported.
The attacks occurred when bombers blew themselves up at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques in Sanaa during noon prayers. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, although a local al Qaeda affiliate in recent months has vowed to fight Houthis. Al Qaeda groups have also claimed responsibility in previous attacks.
Ansar al-Sharia, the main offshoot of al Qaeda in Yemen, claimed responsibility Thursday for the assassination of a top Houthi leader in the center of Sanaa Wednesday.
Other sources estimated the death toll to be 55. The carnage from the attacks was visible from photos, with mutilated bodies, bloodied victims and wreckage inside and outside of the mosques. Some were posted to Twitter:
â€” Colonel ShaamiBro (@Baqiyaah2015) March 20, 2015
â€” FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) March 20, 2015
â€” David Opito (@clevercat123) March 20, 2015
Yemen has been engulfed in an ongoing civil war that has escalated significantly in recent months. In September, Houthi rebels stormed the capital and seized key government buildings. In February, the rebel forces dissolved Yemen’s parliament.
Conflict and violence have not been limited to Yemen's capital. Clashes occurred Thursday in Yemen's southern port city of Aden between forces supporting the current president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.