Second car bomb in northern Yemen

Just two days after a car bomb killed 17 or more Houthi supporters during a Shia religious festival in Yemen, a second car bomb attacked mourners attending a Houthi funeral yesterday. Reports of casualties vary wildly, from two including the suicide bomber (AFP) to 40 or more (UPI).

The latest attack, in Saada province, targeted a convoy of cars carrying tribal leaders from Marib province to the funeral of Badr al-Din al-Houthi, the Houthi patriarch who died on Thursday at the age of 86.

Once again, the finger of suspicion points towards al-Qaeda, or at least Sunni militants, as the likely culprits. Presumably their aim is to re-ignite the Houthi rebellion (which went into abeyance following a ceasefire agreement last February), thus putting further pressure on the Yemeni regime and its security forces, and perhaps taking some of the heat off al-Qaeda.

The Yemeni government's Supreme Security Committee issued a statement yesterday condemning the latest attack. It appealed for information and said the authorities "will do their best" to track down the attackers.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 27 November 2010