A missile attack on a military camp in Aden, the seat of Yemen’s internationally recognised government, has killed dozens of people and wounded many others, according to reports.
The Houthi rebel movement, which controls the capital, Sanaa, claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack which targeted a military parade at al-Jalaa military camp, in Aden’s Buraiqa district.
The Houthis’ official al-Masirah TV said the group launched a medium-range ballistic missile and armed drone at the parade, which it described as being staged in preparation for a military move against provinces held by the rebels.
Reuters news agency quoted a medical and a security source as saying at least 32 people were killed in the attack. A health official told The Associates Press news agency the death toll stood at more than 50.
The blast occured “behind the stand where the ceremony was taking place”, a witness told Reuters.
A senior commander of the so-called Security Belt’s First Support Brigade was reported to be among the casualties.
The Security Belt is a force trained and supported by the United Arab Emirates, a key partner in a military alliance assembled by Saudi Arabia to fight against the Houthis.
There was no immediate comment from the Yemeni government or the coalition.
International medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, wrote on Twitter that tens of wounded were hospitalised in Aden after an explosion, but later said it was a separate one at a police station in the southern port city.
It said 10 people were killed and 16 wounded in Thursday’s suicide attack at Omar al-Mokhtar neighbourhood.
Local officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AP the bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the local police station’s gates shortly after the morning police line-up.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the suicide attack.
Separately, the Houthis said on Thursday they targeted a military site in Dammam, in eastern Saudi Arabia, with a long-range missile.
There was no immediate comment from Saudi authorities.
Al Jazeera’s senior correspondant Hashem Ahelbarra, who has reported extensively about Yemen in the past, said the coalition’s campaign against the Houthis, now in its fifth year, had failed to defeat the rebels.
“The Houthis can still send rockets into areas located in the deep south, particularly in Aden,” Ahelbarra said.
“And that shows that the decision by the UAE to pull out from Yemen is definitely going to create more problems for the Yemeni government but above all the Saudis who now seem to be in a very critical situation.”
Last month, the UAE announced a decision to reduce its troop presence throughout Yemen, saying it was moving from a “military-first” strategy to a “peace-first” plan.
But Abu Dhabi has since been been at pains to stress that it was leaving the war-ravaged country.
“While we will operate differently, our military presence will remain,” UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said in an op-ed published in The Washington Post late last month.