SANAA (Reuters) - At least 25 people died when two car bombs exploded in Radaa city in Yemen’s central province of al-Bayda, local and medical sources said.
The first car bomb exploded near a checkpoint manned by Shi‘ite Houthi rebels while a school bus was passing, killing 15 students, sources said. The second car exploded near the house of an official in the area rumored to support Houthis killing ten, they said.
Radaa is a bastion of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The Houthis established themselves as Yemen’s new powerbrokers when they captured the capital Sanaa on Sept. 21 to little resistance from residents or from the weak administration of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Their ascendance has angered al Qaeda, which views Shi‘ites as heretics and Houthis as pawns of Iran.
In addition to the rise of AQAP and the Houthi takeover of Sanaa, Yemen, an impoverished country of 25 million people, faces a secessionist movement in the south. The widespread and growing instability has alarmed neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, and other Gulf Arab states.
Reporting By Mohammed Ghobari; Writing By Maha El Dahan; editing by Ralph Boulton