96 dead in Yemen military parade bombing (Lead)

May 21st, 2012 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Sana’a, May 21 (IANS) At least 96 soldiers were killed and 300 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a rehearsal Monday for a military parade in Yemen’s capital city, Al Arabiya news agency reported.

BBC, quoting officials, put the number of casualties at 63. However, it said unconfirmed reports placed the toll at 96.

The bomber was dressed in a military uniform and detonated his explosives in the middle of the battalion that was rehearsing for an army parade marking the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen, according to RIA Novosti.

The suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of soldiers at al-Sabin Square, near the presidential palace.

Monday’s attack was the deadliest attack in the Yemeni capital since President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Al-Hadi took power in February.

Witnesses said the remains of the victims were scattered across the square, where large military parades are often held. Ambulances rushed to the area to take the dozens of wounded to hospital.

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