by JOANNA ZEGARRA
Terrorist group ISIS claimed it committed last Friday’s bombings of two mosques in Yemen’s capital; an attack that would mark ISIS’s first large-scale attack in the country. 137 people were killed and 357 were wounded when suicide bombers, pretending to be disabled, hid explosives under casts and attacked the mosques in Sanaa. The attacks marked one of the worst instances of recent violence during a struggle for control of Yemen, where Houthi rebels already faced resistance from AQAP and from supporters of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.
A written statement, purportedly from ISIS, claimed that they executed Friday’s attacks, calling them “a tip of an iceberg.”The statement, posted on an ISIS-affiliated website, said five suicide bombers targeted Houthis in Sanaa. A separate audio message claimed five ISIS suicide bombers killed dozens of “Houthi infidels.”
The United States, “strongly condemns” both Friday’s mosque bombings and Thursday’s airstrikes in Yemen and expressed its condolences to those involved according to a White House statement.
“This unconscionable attack on Muslim worshipers during Friday prayers only further highlights the depth of the terrorists’ depravity and the threat they pose to the people of Yemen, the region, and the world,” read the statement. “Today’s attacks underscore that terrorism affects all Yemenis and that Yemen and its people must remain unified to confront these challenges.”