World Bulletin / News Desk
A uniformed man blew himself up in the midst of a military parade rehearsal attended by senior officials in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday, killing at least 41 people and wounding more than 60, a police source told Reuters news agency.
Yemen's defence minister chief of staff were present at the event but were not hurt in the blast, a military source said.
The attack coincided with a U.S.-backed Yemeni army offensive against fighters in the south of the country, where they control several towns. Troops closed in on one of their strongholds on Sunday in heavy fighting. A U.S. military instructor was wounded in an ambush on a U.S. training team on Sunday.
The area was cordoned off with yellow tape and a forensic team was examining the site.
"We were in a parade, suddenly there was a huge explosion. Dozens of our men were killed. We tried to help them," said a man who identified himself as Colonel Amin al-Alghabati, his hands and uniform flecked with blood.
"The suicide bomber was dressed in a military uniform. He had a belt of explosives underneath," he said.
A Reuters witness said the wounded were being ferried to hospital in taxis.
The parade was scheduled for Tuesday to mark Yemen's national day, which commemorates the unification of north and south Yemen, previously separate states, and Hadi was due to attend.
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A spokesman said on the state TV channel that the operation had been named "Labeyk Ya Hussein".
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