A suicide attack in Yemen that killed roughly 96 troops and wounded more than 200 Monday was payback from al-Qaeda operatives in the region for Yemen's cooperation with the United States in the war on terror, Yemeni officials confirmed.
"At this point, the number of dead is expected to rise," said Mohammed Albasha, a spokesman for the Yemen Embassy in Washington D.C. "Among the dead and wounded were soldiers from various military and law enforcement units. I’m saddened by this horrific tragedy and express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the martyred soldiers."
The Yemeni government believes the suicide bomber was wearing a military uniform. The soldier detonated the explosives as hundreds of fellow troops were lining up for a military parade rehearsal in the capital Sana'a, on the eve of the 22nd anniversay of the Yemeni unification. An investigation is ongoing, Albasha said.
The attack was meant to kill top Yemeni commanders but many of the senior security and military officials that were in attendance "left the scene unharmed," he said.