At least 142 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa during Friday prayers, AFP reported.
Both mosques are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shiite Muslim Houthi group which has seized control of the government.
The Islamic State group, an al Qaeda offshoot of Sunni extremists, claimed responsibility for the attacks, Reuters and AFP reported, citing an online statement by the group.
The four bombers attacked the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques during midday Friday prayers, traditionally the most crowded time of the week, according to state news agency Saba.
The Shiite rebel-owned Al-Masirah TV channel said area hospitals were urging citizens to donate blood. It also reported that a fifth suicide bomb attack on another mosque was foiled in the northern city of Saada, a Houthi stronghold.
At the Badr mosque, militia guards caught the first bomber while searching worshippers at the entrance and he detonated his device there. Amid the ensuing panic, a second bomber entered the mosque and blew himself up in the crowd, Saba agency said.
Some 120 Muslim religious scholars this week published an open letter refuting the Islamic State’s claim to be a religious political movement. According to their view, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is flagrantly un-Islamic in its behavior.
The behavior of ISIS have more in common with Mao’s Red Guards or the Khmer Rouge than it does with the Muslim empires of antiquity which they claim to be heirs to.
In synthesizing aspects of both Western and Islamic civilization, the group has crafted a radical ideology which is distinctly modern despite its glorification of a pre-modern past. Recognizing this is the first step to negating the clash of civilizations narrative upon which they thrive, scholars say.
In the eyes of most Muslims the Islamic State is as “Islamic” as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is “Democratic”.