46 killed, 100 injured in suicide attacks on 2 Yemen mosques

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Yemen: 46 Killed in Two Suicide Attacks in Mosques

ADEN, Yemen (AP) -- Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshipers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, killing 46 and injuring 100 others, according to medical officials. The attackers targeted mosques controlled by Shiite rebels.

A report on the rebel-owned Al-Masirah TV channel said the bombers attacked the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques during midday prayers on Friday, traditionally the most crowded time of the week. There was no immediate casualty report. It added that hospitals were urging citizens to donate blood.

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46 killed, 100 injured in suicide attacks on 2 Yemen mosques
Medics treat an anti-Houthi protester who was injured during clashes with pro-Houthi police troopers in Taiz, Yemen, Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Shiite rebels fired bullets and tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters demanding they withdraw from the southern province, killing six demonstrators, wounding scores more and escalating tensions in a country on the verge of civil war. (AP Photo/Anees Mahyoub)
Anti-Houthi protesters carry a fellow protester suffering tear gas effects during clashes with pro-Houthi police troopers in Taiz, Yemen, Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Shiite rebels fired bullets and tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters demanding they withdraw from the southern province, killing six demonstrators, wounding scores more and escalating tensions in a country on the verge of civil war. (AP Photo/Anees Mahyoub)
FILE - In this Friday, March 20, 2015 file photo, militiamen loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ride on an army vehicle on a street in Aden, Yemen. Yemen’s Shiite rebels, backed by supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, have seized the third-largest city after capturing the capital Sanaa in September, effectively splitting the country in half and hindering U.S. efforts to combat a powerful local al-Qaida affiliate. Hadi, a close U.S. ally, fled house arrest in Sanaa last month and has set up a base in the port city of Aden, the former capital of the once-independent south. (AP Photo/Yassir Hassan, FIle)
FILE - In this Friday, March 20, 2015 file photo, militiamen loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ride on an army vehicle on a street in Aden, Yemen. Yemen’s Shiite rebels, backed by supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, have seized the third-largest city after capturing the capital Sanaa in September, effectively splitting the country in half and hindering U.S. efforts to combat a powerful local al-Qaida affiliate. Hadi, a close U.S. ally, fled house arrest in Sanaa last month and has set up a base in the port city of Aden, the former capital of the once-independent south. (AP Photo/Yassir Hassan, File)
Houthi Shiite rebels chant slogans during a rally to show support for their leader Abdel-Malik al-Houthi in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Yemen's Shiite rebel leader lashed out at Saudi Arabia on Thursday, accusing it of seeking to split the country following his group's power grab, as a U.N. envoy met the embattled Yemeni president who has fled the capital, Sanaa. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A Houthi Shiite rebel with Yemen's flag painted on his face chants slogans during a rally to show support for leader of rebels, Abdel-Malik al-Houthi in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Yemen's Shiite rebel leader lashed out at Saudi Arabia on Thursday, accusing it of seeking to split the country following his group's power grab, as a U.N. envoy met the embattled Yemeni president who has fled the capital, Sanaa. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A Yemeni man reads a newspaper featuring the front page with a photograph of former President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and a headline in Arabic that reads, " did they release him or kidnap him?" in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. Virtually powerless for months, Yemen’s overthrown President Hadi appeared ready to disappear from the country after fleeing Shiite rebels who held him captive in his own home. But the soft-spoken technocrat who long has avoided the limelight stepped back into it Saturday by renouncing his own resignation and challenging the Shiite Houthi rebels who hold control the capital and large parts of the country. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A boy holding a Yemeni flag stands in front of Houthi Shiite Yemenis wearing army uniforms during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. Yemen has been locked in a political crisis since Shiite rebels known as Houthis swept the capital in September. The rebels eventually forced the resignation of the elected Western-backed president and dissolved the parliament.(AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Yemeni protesters march to protest against Houthi Shiites who have seized power in the capital, Sanaa, while they celebrate the fourth anniversary of the uprising in Taiz, Yemen, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. The United States, Britain and France moved to close their embassies in Yemen on Wednesday, increasing the isolation of Shiite rebels who have seized power. (AP Photo/Anees Mahyoub)
AL HUDAYDAH, YEMEN - FEBRUARY 18: Yemenis stage a protest against Shiite Houthi rebels' taking control of the government and occupying the Yemeni cities, on February 18, 2015 in Al Hudaydah, Yemen. (Photo by Abdu Muhammed Yahya Haydar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Yemeni students shout slogans during a protest after several suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group on March 22, 2015 outside the university in the capital Sanaa. Several suicide bombings killed 142 people in Sanaa on March 20, with the jihadists seeking to exploit the chaos gripping the country. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Yemeni students shout slogans during a protest after several suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group on March 22, 2015 outside the university in the capital Sanaa. Several suicide bombings killed 142 people in Sanaa on March 20, with the jihadists seeking to exploit the chaos gripping the country. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Yemeni students shout slogans during a protest after several suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group on March 22, 2015 outside the university in the capital Sanaa. Several suicide bombings killed 142 people in Sanaa on March 20, with the jihadists seeking to exploit the chaos gripping the country. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A Yemeni man inspects the damage following a bomb explosion at the Badr mosque in southern Sanaa on March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombings killed at least 55 people at mosques in the Yemeni capital attended by Shiite Huthi militiamen who have seized control of the city. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at a damaged car after a suicide attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Yemeni armed men inspect the damage following a bomb explosion at the Badr mosque in southern Sanaa on March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombings killed at least 55 people at mosques in the Yemeni capital attended by Shiite Huthi militiamen who have seized control of the city. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Houthi fighters carry a body of a man killed in a suicide attack that struck a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Bodies of people killed in a suicide attack during the noon prayer are covered in blankets in a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Houthi fighters stand near a damaged car after suicide attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
People stand amid bodies covered with blankets in a mosque after a suicide attack during the noon prayer in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the capital on Friday, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Yemenis carry a body of a man killed in a bomb attack at a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, stand near a damaged car after a bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Yemenis carry a body of a man killed in a bomb attack in a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques crowded with worshippers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Friday, causing heavy casualties, according to witnesses. The attackers targeted mosques frequented by Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A Yemeni man shows off a helmet and a flak jacket he looted from a base that belonged to police special forces loyal to ousted longtime autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh, as he stands on a street outside the base in Aden, Yemen, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Forces loyal to former President Saleh stormed the international airport in the southern port city of Aden on Thursday. Later, the troops and militiamen loyal to the current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi completely retook the airport. They then stormed the nearby base of the pro-Saleh police special forces. (AP Photo/Hamza Hendawi)
SANA'A, YEMEN - MARCH 20: Members of Houthi Ansarullah Movement put the bodies on a truck in front of the Al-Hashoush Mosque after a bombing attack in Al Jaraf region of Sana'a, Yemen on March 20, 2015. At least 55 people were killed on Friday in two bombings targeting Houthi mosques in Yemeni capital Sanaa, a medical source has said. The two blasts struck the Badr and Al-Hashoush mosques frequented by supporters of the Shiite Houthi militants. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SANA'A, YEMEN - MARCH 20: People inspect the crime scene at Al-Hashoush Mosque after a bombing attack in Al Jaraf region of Sana'a, Yemen on March 20, 2015. At least 55 people were killed on Friday in two bombings targeting Houthi mosques in Yemeni capital Sanaa, a medical source has said. The two blasts struck the Badr and Al-Hashoush mosques frequented by supporters of the Shiite Houthi militants. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Yemeni men inspect the damage following a bomb explosion at the Badr mosque in southern Sanaa on March 20, 2015. Triple suicide bombings killed at least 55 people at mosques in the Yemeni capital attended by Shiite Huthi militiamen who have seized control of the city. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A wounded Yemeni militiaman loyal to the Shiite Huthi militia, is detained and escorted by fighters loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, also known as the Popular Resistance Committees, following clashes Yemeni special forces opposed to the country's president in the area of the international airport in the southern city of Aden on March 19, 2015. Deadly clashes forced the closure of the international airport in Yemen's main southern city Aden, where the conflict-ridden country's leader fled after militia forces seized the capital. At least six people were killed and 20 wounded after fierce fighting broke out between supporters and opponents of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, security sources said. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
SANAA, YEMEN - MARCH 22: Yemeni students hold the pictures of those who lost their lives in the mosque attacks, during a protest in front of Sanaa University on March 22, 2015, against the two mosque attacks after Friday prayer in Yemen killing 120 and injuring 200 others on March 21, 2015. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Witnesses said that at least two suicide bombers attacked inside the Badr mosque. One walked inside the mosque and detonated his device, causing panic as dozens of worshippers rushed toward the outside gates. A second suicide bomber then attacked amid the panicked crowds trying to escape.

One witness at the al-Hashoosh mosque, located in Sanaa's northern district, said that he was thrown two meters away by the blast.

"The heads, legs and arms of the dead people were scattered on the floor of the mosque," Mohammed al-Ansi told The Associated Press, adding, "blood is running like a river."

Al-Ansi added that many of those who didn't die in the explosion were seriously injured by shattered glass falling from the mosque's windows. He recalled running for the door along with other survivors and hearing one man screaming, "come back, save the injured!"

The Shiite TV network aired footage from inside al-Hashoosh mosque, where screaming volunteers were using bloodied blankets to carry away victims. One of the dead included a small child. Corpses were lined up on the mosque floor and carried away in pick-up trucks.

The attacks come a day after intense gun battles in the southern city of Aden, between rival troops loyal to Yemen's former and current president, left 13 dead and forced closure of the city's international airport.

The Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, swept down from their northern strongholds and seized the capital in September. Allied with ousted former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, they now control at least nine of Yemen's 21 provinces. Earlier this year they put Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the western-backed president, under house arrest. Hadi has since fled to the southern city of Aden, where he established a temporary capital and maintains he is still the legitimate president.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Yemen is home to a powerful al-Qaida branch, but there has also been a growing presence among supporters of the Islamic State group.

Some IS supporters on social media claimed the group carried out the bombing. The claim could not be confirmed, but if true it would be group's first major attack in Yemen.

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