Al Qaeda kills at least 26 people in Yemen car bombing hours after new president is sworn in pledging to continue ‘war’ against the terror group

English: Yemen wants Ali Abdullah Saleh OUT

By Damien Gayle

An al Qaeda car bomb killed at least 26 people in a southern Yemeni city hours after the country’s new president vowed to fight the terror network in his inauguration speech.

The blast at a presidential palace in Mukalla, in Hadramout province, came as Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was sworn in as president to replace longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

‘Al Qaeda is responsible for the suicide bombing in Mukalla in retaliation for the Republican Guard’s crimes,’ an al Qaeda source told Reuters.A security official said it was a suicide blast, and that it bore the hallmarks of an operation by the militant group.

He did not provide a death toll, but a health official said at least 25 people were killed in the attack. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

In a televised speech to Yemen’s parliament just hours earlier, Mr Hadi swore to keep up the fight against al Qaida-linked militants, who have taken of more than a year of political turmoil to seize control of several regions.

He also pledged to work to bring home the thousands of internal refugees created by fighting between government troops, southern separatists, mutinous military units, tribal movements, and numerous other factions.

Hours later, the bomb exploded in the city of Mukalla in the province of Hadramout, part of formerly independent south Yemen, that federated with the north in 1990.

Ahmed al-Rammah, who witnessed the blast, said by phone from Mukalla that he saw a pickup moving slowly to the gate as soldiers were coming out. Then it exploded, he said.

The blast was followed by heavy gunfire from the surviving guards.

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Posted on February 26, 2012, in Yemen and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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