Terrorism |

Yemenis slam ISIL attack on Aden army centre

By Faisal Darem in Sanaa


Yemeni forces stand guard at the scene of a Monday (August 29th) suicide car bombing claimed by the 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' that targeted an army recruitment centre in Aden. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Yemeni citizens and officials have roundly condemned a deadly "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) suicide attack on an army recruitment centre in Aden on Monday (August 29th) that left 71 dead and dozens injured.

The bomber drove a car through the front gate of a recruitment centre in Aden's Sheikh Othman district, which had been left open for a delivery, and detonated the explosives he was carrying, killing 71 and wounding 98, AFP reported.

ISIL claimed the attack via its Amaq news agency.

It was the fourth suicide attack on enlistment centres or military camps in Aden ISIL has claimed this year, and the deadliest terror attack in the southern port city in more than 12 months.

President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi condemned the "cowardly terrorist act", saying it came in response to "painful strikes" the army and coalition have inflicted on the group.

In a phone call to 4th Military Zone commander Maj. Gen. Ahmed Saif al-Yafei, Hadi said the wounded would be treated at the state’s expense.

He stressed the need for all Yemenis to unite in order to address the threat that extremist ideology and resulting acts of terrorism pose to the country.

'A crime against the people of Aden'

ISIL's attack on the recruitment centre was a crime against the people of Aden, said al-Khayr Social Development Association executive director Khalid Hakimi.

"More than 100 families are in despair for having a son killed or wounded, after pinning hope on him to secure a source of income for the family amid the economic hardship they are experiencing as a result of the circumstances the country in general is going through," he told Al-Mashareq.

Anyone who does not condemn this attack "is on the side of those who perpetrated and incited it", Hakimi said, adding that after the repeated targeting of recruitment centres it will more difficult to get youth to enlist.

Islam and sharia do not sanction such heinous crimes against innocent civilians, said Sanaa Office of Endowments deputy director Abdul Rahman al-Moshaki.

Such crimes aim to distort Islam, which is a religion of peace, not destruction, devastation, murder and bloodshed, as witnessed in Aden, he told Al-Mashareq.

Those who died in the attack gave their lives to protect their country and its citizens, said Sameh Jamal, director of the Aden branch of the General Authority of Lands Surveying and Urban Planning, asking that the families and parents of those who died in the attack be granted financial compensation.

Jamal also called on the country's security agencies to take measures to try to prevent the occurrence of another such incident.

Attack reveals ISIL's desperation

Aden police described the Monday incident as a "desperate attack by the murderous terrorist groups in Aden" in reaction to the losses they have suffered at the hands of the security forces in recent weeks.

Recent operations against armed extremist groups operating in Yemen led to the arrest of dozens of leaders and fighters in Aden, Lahj and Abyan provinces, the police said in a statement.

Police also seized large quantities of explosives, mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the raids, the statement said.

Aden police called on parents to immediately notify them if their sons went missing to enable security agencies to thwart potential recruitment attempts and attacks by "misguided groups who violate religion".

Al-Qaeda and ISIL aim to retaliate for the successful liberation of the Hadramaut provincial capital of al-Mukalla and Abyan province "and also their successes in this regard in Aden", said political analyst Tariq al-Zuraiqi.

Security forces have foiled numerous suicide attacks, he told Al-Mashareq, and also have dismantled many terrorist cells.

AL-Zuraiqi called on the UN to work towards ending Yemen's war, as the circumstances it has created are enabling extremist groups to carry out attacks in an attempt to assert their presence and extend their influence.

A ceasefire among Yemen's warring parties has become imperative for political, social and economic reasons, he said.

Do you like this article?