Yemen has suffered from almost five years of conflict since the Houthi movement overthrew President Hadi’s government in late 2014 [File: Fawaz Salman/Reuters]
At least five people have died after an explosion at a military graduation parade in Yemen’s southern town of al-Dhalea, Yemen’s Security Belt forces said.
Eight people were also injured in the attack on Sunday, according to local health authority figures quoted by the Security Belt group.
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No claim of responsibility had yet been made, but the media office of the southern forces said the blast was caused by a Houthi missile.
The Security Belt forces are part of a southern separatist front in southern Yemen and are backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the fight against Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group.
Witnesses told Reuters News Agency that an explosion took place near a guest platform during the parade and that dozens were injured or killed. They reported seeing bodies at the scene.
Al Jazeera’s Mohammed al-Attab, reporting from the capital Sanaa, said that al-Dhalea is a “battlefield” between the Houthis and the internationally-recognised government forces.
“On previous occasions, the Houthis have carried out attacks on military parades,” al-Attab said. “But al-Qaeda is also active in the area.”
In August, the Houthis claimed responsibility for a missile and drone attack on a parade in Aden, the seat of the internationally-recognised government, that killed around 36 people, including a prominent commander.
Yemen has suffered from almost five years of conflict since the Houthi movement overthrew President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in late 2014. The coup drew military intervention in 2015 by a Saudi- UAE-led coalition, trying to restore Hadi’s internationally-recognised government.
The town of al-Dhalea is controlled by southern separatist forces. It lies on the main south-to-north road linking the southern port of Aden – controlled by Hadi’s government – to the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa.
A contested front-line runs across al-Dhalea province.
Al Jazeera and news agencies