IS-claimed suicide bombing kills 48 Yemen soldiers at military camp

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The attacker detonated his explosives belt as hundreds of troops gathered to receive their monthly pay

Yemenis gather at the site where a suicide car bomb exploded in Yemen's second city Aden on 29 October (AFP)
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Sunday 11 December 2016 14:15 UTC
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Forty-eight Yemeni soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group in the southern port city of Aden, officials said Sunday in an updated casualty toll.

The attacker detonated his explosives belt as hundreds of troops gathered to receive their monthly pay at the barracks in Al-Sawlaban near the city's international airport, a military source said.

"We have 48 dead and 29 wounded," all soldiers, Abdel Nasser al-Wali, health department chief for Aden, told AFP, revising an earlier toll of 35 dead.

The bomber detonated his explosives belt as hundreds of troops had gathered to collect their monthly pay at a barracks in Al-Sawlaban near Aden's international airport.

IS claimed responsibility.

"A martyr from the Islamic State denotated his explosives belt in Al-Sawlaban military camp in Aden during a gathering of the Yemeni army," the IS-affiliated Amaq news outlet said.

Yemeni authorities have for months pressed a campaign against militants who remain active in the south and east of the war-torn country.
 
The Islamic State group and its militant rival al-Qaeda have taken advantage of a conflict between the government and Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa in the north, to bolster their presence across much of the south.
 
IS and al-Qaeda have carried out a spate of attacks in Aden, Yemen's second city and headquarters of the internationally recognised government whose forces retook the port from the Houthis last year.
 
Al-Qaeda has long been the dominant militant force in Yemen, located next to oil-flush Saudi Arabia and key shipping lanes, but experts say IS is seeking to supplant its extremist rival.
 
In August an IS fighter rammed his explosives-laden car into an army recruiting centre in Aden, killing 71 people in the deadliest militant attack on the city in over a year.
 
On Monday, Yemeni authorities arrested eight suspected IS militants implicated in a spate of attacks targeting security personnel in the city this year.
 
A Saudi-led coalition has since March 2015 supported loyalist forces fighting the Houthi rebels.