48 Yemeni soldiers dead in ISIL-claimed bombing

A suicide bomber from the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) killed at least 48 Yemeni soldiers in Aden Sunday (December 18th), the latest in a string of deadly attacks against recruits in the city, AFP reported.

Military officials and medics said dozens more were wounded in the attack that targeted a crowd of servicemen who had gathered to collect their salaries near a base in north-eastern Aden.

"The number of those killed has risen to 48, while 84 others were wounded," Aden health chief Abdel Nasser al-Wali said.

Al-Wali had initially given a toll of 40 dead, warning that the number was likely to increase due to "critical cases".

The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who blended in among soldiers crowding outside the house of the head of special security forces in Aden Col. Nasser Sarea, in al-Arish district near al-Sawlaban base.

ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement that a "martyrdom seeker" had gotten through security checkpoints before blowing himself up.

The attack comes eight days after a similar bombing at al-Sawlaban claimed by ISIL killed 48 soldiers and wounded 29 others .

Yemeni authorities have fought a months-long campaign against extremists who remain active in the south and east of the country.

ISIL and its jihadist rival al-Qaeda have taken advantage of a conflict between the government and Yemen's Houthi (Ansarallah) fighters to bolster their presence across much of the south.

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