A suicide bomber and another explosion targeted a large gathering of Shiite rebels in the central Yemeni city of Ibb on Wednesday, killing at least eight people, a rebel spokesman and medical officials said.
Mohammed Abdel-Baki, the local spokesman for the Houthi rebels, said a suicide bomber had blown himself up among hundreds of people gathered to prepare celebrations for the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday this weekend. He said a second explosion was caused by a bomb placed near a window. He described the attack as a “massacre.”
“The torn body parts are everywhere. Pools of blood mixed with water. The scene is horrifying,” he said.
Local medical officials said eight people were killed and another seven were wounded, with the toll likely to rise. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemen’s powerful local al-Qaida affiliate has targeted the rebels in the past.
The Houthis seized large areas of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, earlier this year as part of a protracted power struggle with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Their critics view them as a proxy for Shiite Iran that wants to dominate the country, charges the rebels deny.