The 21st Century Phenomenon


At least 26 people have been killed, on Saturday 02/25/2012, by a car bomb in the southern Yemen city of Mukalla, officials said. The blast struck outside a presidential palace, in Hadramawt province. Elite republican guards were among the dead (see also -Mukalla 06.22.11 ).

The attack, claimed by local Al Qaeda, came after Yemen’s new President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi took the oath of office, replacing his former boss Ali Abdullah Saleh, who resigned after months of protest against his rule. Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was for years Ali Abdullah Saleh’s depute.

Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was elected in a single-candidate poll on Tuesday with a “democratic” majority of 99% of the votes. The election was marred by violence in the south of the country. Nine people died in the clashes.

The election followed a deal brokered by Yemen’s neighbours to end the crisis. Ali Abdullah Saleh, who returned from medical treatment in the USA several days ago, will formally hand over power in a ceremony on Monday 02/27/2012.

An unnamed military official said the vehicle which exploded was a pick-up truck driven by a suicide bomber, AFP news agency reported. The palace is guarded by the elite troops, who are under the command of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son, Ahmed, AFP said.

A short while earlier, Mr Hadi was sworn in in the capital Sanaa, 540km (330 miles) to the west. Yemen has been plagued by rebellion, with a separatist movement in the South and a Shiaa insurrection (see – Saada Rebels) in the far North, as well as growing influence of Al Qaeda (see – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula).

There have been growing fears that extremists might try to take advantage of the crisis which led to Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation. In a speech broadcast live on television, Mr Hadi vowed to continue the fight against Al Qaeda, calling it a “national and religious duty”. “If we don’t restore security, the only outcome will be chaos,” he said.

He also promised to work to bring home the thousands of internal refugees created by fighting between government troops, southern separatists, mutinous military units, and other factions.

Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is from the south, has previously called for dialogue with the separatists.

* US President Barack Obama has hailed, later on Saturday, the swearing in of a new president in Yemen as a “new beginning” for the country. Mr Obama said the US would be “a steadfast partner to Yemen” in its transition to democracy.

He also offered US condolences for the deaths of 26 people in a car bombing in Yemen’s southern Hadramawt province.


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