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A man with explosives strapped under his army uniform killed more than 90 people when he blew himself up in the midst of a military parade rehearsal, the defence ministry said.
Yemen’s defence minister and chief of staff were present at the event but were not hurt in the blast, according to a military source.
The injured have been taken to Sanaa military hospital for treatment.
“This is the second rehearsal before the anniversary, and soldies were preparing for it at the time,” said one soldier who witnesses the attack.
“The bombing happened when soldiers got ready for the rehearsal. We do not know the exact number of deaths now, but so many people died in the bombing.”
The attack is the most deadly since President Mansour Hadi assumed power in February. He pledged that he would continue to strike al-Qaida bastions in the country “until we have eradicated their presence in every village”.
It comes 10 days into an army offensive against al-Qaeda in Yemen’s southern Abyan province, where the jihadists have seized control of a string of towns and cities in attacks launched since last May.