Last updated: 4 January, 2015

Journalist among four killed in Yemen blast

A bomb explosion in a mainly Shiite Yemeni city on Sunday killed at least four people including a reporter and wounded 25 others, officials said as Al-Qaeda claimed the attack.

The bombing targeted a gathering of Shiite Huthi militiamen, also known as Ansarullah, in Dhamar which the group controls, a security official said.

Saba, the official news agency, reported that three members of the “popular committees”, a local police force created by the Huthi militia, and a reporter lost their lives in the blast.

The journalist was identified as Khaled al-Washli, who worked for the Huthi-owned Al-Masirah television channel.

Al-Masirah confirmed Washli’s death on its Facebook page.

Saba said that members of the popular committees discovered the bomb at one of their buildings in Dhamar but it exploded as they tried to defuse it.

However, a security official in Dhamar told AFP the device had been planted in a vehicle, and gave a toll of six dead and 27 wounded.

This differing account could not be confirmed from other sources.

Later Sunday, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in a statement posted on jihadist websites claimed the attack and said it was carried out by a roadside bomb.

The United States views AQAP as the global extremist network’s deadliest franchise.

The Huthis overran the Yemeni capital unopposed last September and have since advanced across other parts of the country.

They easily took over Dhamar, south of Sanaa, where they have the support of the city’s mostly Shiite population, but have met fierce resistance elsewhere from Al-Qaeda and Sunni tribal fighters.

On Thursday, almost 50 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted a religious celebration by Huthi supporters in the mainly Sunni city of Ibb.