Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has condemned “in the strongest terms” the terrorist attacks on two mosques in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, which killed or wounded hundreds of civilians.
Suicide bombers attacked Friday two Zaidi Shi’a mosques in Sanaa, killing at least 126 people and wounding many others. Islamic State (IS) militant group, which set up a branch in Yemen in November, claimed the suicide attacks.
In a recording released Friday, IS announced that five suicide bombers were able to kill Huthi leaders and wound hundreds.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry stressed its firm condemnation of any acts of terrorism and criminal targeting of innocent civilians, and the innocence of Islam from these heinous acts. The ministry added that terrorism has no religion or homeland, also pointing out in a Friday statement the need to respect the sanctity of places of worship.
The ministry emphasised the need for concerted regional and international efforts to combat the global phenomenon of terrorism whilst eliminating terrorist organisations, targeting security and stability in the world.
“The two horrific attacks targeting mosque-goers represent an outright rejection of basic humanity amid Yemen’s political turmoil,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The ministry offered condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured. The statement also confirmed Egypt’s solidarity with the people of Yemen.
Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Allam also condemned the attack, saying that “shedding the blood of Muslim worshipers, as they gathered for the Friday prayer, brought them shame in this world and great torment in the Hereafter”.
Allam also called on the Yemeni people to avoid being dragged behind the advocates of sectarianism, and to stand united in the face of those terrorist groups that seek to ruin the country.
Following the 2011 mass protests that toppled its president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthis took over major parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, which led to regime resignation. The Houthis gave political parties a time limit to reach a decision ending the current chaos. However, the parties gave the Houthi revolutionary council the mandate to run the country during the transitional period.
In the past month, the Houthis, supported by segments of the military and backers of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, have pushed further south, including into territory controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). On 19 March, warplanes bombed Hadi’s presidential compound in the southern port city of Aden, where he has established his base, according to HRW.
“IS soldiers will not rest until they stop the Safawi operation in Yemen,” the IS recording stated.