Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released statements today claiming credit for two attacks in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital. The first of these attacks was the massive suicide attack that took place on the morning of Oct. 9 in Tahrir Square, while the second occurred the following day.
AQAP claimed that “more than fifty rafidi [Shi’ite] Houthis” were killed and tens were injured in the Oct. 9 suicide attack that targeted a gathering of Houthi supporters preparing for demonstrations in Sana’a. According to the statement, the attack was carried out by Abu Mu’awiyah al Sana’ani, who detonated his explosive belt as Houthi supporters amassed in the city square. Although the statement says it is difficult to determine the exact number of casualties resulting from the attack, it notes that local and international media outlets reported that more than 50 Houthis were killed and 150 others were severely injured.
Regarding the attack on Oct. 10, AQAP claimed that its fighters targeted the Houthi leader Ibrahim al Mahtouri with a sticky explosive device which was detonated in his car at around 11:30 a.m. Al Mahtouri is a prominent Houthi figure and nephew of Al Murtada bin Zayd al Mahtouri, a Zaydi Shiite religious authority. The AQAP statement explained that the mujahideen had previously planted the explosive device in al Mahtouri’s vehicle and detonated it while al Mahtouri was driving the vehicle in the Sa’wan neighborhood of Sana’a. Although the mujahideen could not confirm al Mahtouri’s death, they claimed that he had suffered severe injuries as a result of the explosion.
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