Yemen suicide bombings

This item appears on page 16 of the December 2014 issue.

In eastern Yemen and in the capital, Sana’a, a series of suicide bombings in October targeted ethnic Houthis.

The Houthis, a Shia Muslim group, have been in conflict with both the ruling Sunni government and Ansar al-Sharia (in the West, commonly known as “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”). After deadly clashes in Sana’a in September, Houthi rebels captured government buildings and demanded a change in government.

A peace deal between the Houthis and Yemen’s government, brokered by the UN on Sept. 21, required the rebels to give up control of captured sections of Sana’a in exchange for allowing them to name a new prime minister and form a new coalition government. Despite the peace deal, armed Houthi rebels maintained a presence in Sana’a and other cities in Yemen.

On Oct. 9, a suicide bomb set off during a Houthi rally in Sana’a’s Tahrir Square killed at least 47 people. Later in the day, a suicide car bombing at a military checkpoint in Hadramawt Province killed 20.

On Oct. 13, with the support of the Houthis, Yemen’s president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, appointed Khalid Bahah, a Shia, as prime minister.

On Oct. 20, at least 67 Houthis were killed by suicide bombers and shelling in central Yemen.