At least 33 people were killed in a suicide bombing and gun attacks in central Yemen, tribal sources and medics said on Monday, as al-Qaida fighters seized a Yemeni city in a new challenge to the central government.
Violence has spread in Yemen since Shi’ite Muslim Houthis took over the capital, Sanaa, last month, threatening the stability of a country that borders on Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter.
Houthi forces have fanned out into central and western Yemen, posing a challenge to Sunni tribesmen and al-Qaida terrorists, who regard the Houthis as heretics. Fighting has flared in several provinces.
There is growing international concern about Yemen’s turmoil because of its proximity to Saudi Arabia and international shipping lanes, as well as the risk of al-Qaida using the country as a springboard for attacks abroad.