Sanaa Suicide Bomber Kills 25 During Eid al-Adha Prayers in Yemen Mosque: AP

by The Associated Press /  / Updated 

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SANAA, Yemen — A suicide bomber blew himself up during prayers at a mosque for the Eid al-Adha holiday on Thursday, killing 25 people in Yemen's capital Sanaa, security officials said.

Dozens were wounded in the blast at the al-Bolayli mosque, said the officials, who remain neutral in the conflict that has splintered the country. It is located in an area where many people support the Shiite Houthi rebels who control Sanaa.

Image:Yemeni Huthi rebels check the Balili mosque in the capital Sanaa
Rebels check the Balili mosque in the capital Sanaa, following an explosion on Thursday.MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP via Getty Images

The security officials said the suicide bomber placed an explosive device in his shoe, causing an initial explosion. As worshippers rushed to the door, he detonated himself in the middle of the crowd.

Related: Anti-Houthi Forces Take Strategic City in Yemen

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

There were puddles of blood and debris outside the mosque, whose ornate facade was damaged by the blast. Police and some Houthi fighters came to inspect the aftermath.

Eid al-Adha is a major Muslim holiday also known as the feast of sacrifice.

Yemen has been torn by a ferocious war pitting the Houthis and forces fighting for former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against fighters loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, as well as southern separatists, local militias and Sunni extremists.

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