A planned military parade to mark Yemen’s National Day is set to go ahead in Yemen, despite a suicide attack during rehearsals for the celebration that left nearly 100 people dead.
Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in the centre of the Yemeni capital on Monday, saying that it was revenge for increased US drone strikes.
Al Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson, reporting from Sanaa, says that Tuesday’s march will be largely scaled down and held in a “secret” location.
“This was supposed to be a national celebration, with the public and international diplomats there, but will now be a shadow of what it was meant to be,” Ferguson said.
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is scheduled to still attend the parade, said after the attack that he will fight “terrorism regardless of the sacrifices”.
Officials said a bomber dressed in military uniform targeted soldiers rehearsing for a parade in Sanaa to mark National Day.
Yemen’s defence minister and chief of staff were both present at the event, but neither man was hurt.
The huge explosion left scenes of carnage at Sabaeen Square, with bloodied victims strewn across the 10-lane road where the rehearsal was held on Monday morning not far from the presidential palace.
“We had just finished the parade. We were saluting our commander when a huge explosion went off,” said Amr Habib, a soldier.
“It was a gruesome attack. Many soldiers were killed and others had their arms and legs blown off.”