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Yemen crisis: More than 100 die in attacks on Sanaa mosques

BY: BBC
The al-Hashoosh mosque was badly damaged in the attack.

Suicide bombers have attacked two mosques in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, killing at least 126 people and wounding many others, reports say. Worshippers were attending noon prayers at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques when at least four attackers struck.

The mosques are used mainly by supporters of the Zaidi Shia-led Houthi rebel movement, which controls Sanaa.

Islamic State (IS), which set up a branch in Yemen in November, said it was behind the attacks

A statement from the group was published on Twitter accounts known as reliable sources for IS propaganda. If confirmed, the attacks would be the first carried out by IS in Yemen.

There are also severe tensions between the Houthi rebels and various powerful, armed elements in Yemen, including militants from al-Qaeda.

Witnesses said two suicide bombers attacked the Badr mosque, in the south of Sanaa.

Al Jazeera reported that the prominent Houthi cleric al-Murtada bin Zayd al-Mahatwari, the imam of the Badr mosque, was among those killed.

Two more bombers attacked the al-Hashoosh mosque, in the north of the capital, with one detonating explosives near the entrance and the other running into the mosque itself.

The rebel-run al-Masirah TV channel broadcast footage from inside the al-Hashoosh mosque showing volunteers using bloodied blankets to carry away victims. Bodies were also lined up in the prayer hall.