A car bomb outside the gate of a presidential compound in a southern Yemeni city killed at least 25 people hours after the country’s new president was formally inaugurated and vowed to fight al-Qaida.
According to AP, a security official said it was a suicide blast, and that it bore the hallmarks of an operation by the militant group. Both al-Qaida and southern separatists are active in the region.
A health official confirmed the death toll. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not allowed to speak to the press.
The blast came as Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was sworn in as president to replace longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, following an election aimed at ending over a year of political turmoil. Hadiwas the only candidate in the election.
In his televised speech before parliament, Hadi swore to keep up Yemen’s fight against al-Qaida-linked militants, who took advantage of the country’s upheaval to seize control of several parts of the country.
Hadi also pledged to work to bring home the thousands of internal refugees created by fighting between government troops, southern separatists, mutinous military units, tribal movements, and numerous other factions.
“One of the most prominent tasks is the continuation of war against al-Qaida as a religious and national duty, and to bring back displaced people to their villages and towns,” Hadi said.
Hours later, the bomb exploded in the city of Mukalla in the province of Hadramout, part of formerly independent south Yemen, that joined with the north in 1990.