Nearly 100 people were killed and at least 200 injured when a suicide blast targeted a military parade rehearsal in Yemen's capital Sana'a on May 21.
The bomber, dressed in military uniform, detonated his explosives in the middle of soldiers rehearsing for a parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the unification of North and South Yemen.
The following video [ar] shows the immediate aftermath of the explosion on Sabaeen Street in Sana'a [WARNING: DISTRESSING IMAGES].
Journalist Tom Finn was at the scene:
@tomfinn2: In Sabaeen. Police everywhere, pieces of flesh scattered over the tarmac. Injured all in hospital. #yemen
@tomfinn2: Ambulances still racing around Sana'a. Doctors say hospitals are overwhelmed. #Yemen
Farea Al Muslimi, a student activist based in Beirut, commented:
@almuslimi: This is a terrifying day in #Yemen and at the same time golden chance for [President Abdou Rabbo Mansour] #Hadi to take urgent strong measures in restructuring the army.
President Hadi indeed issued a decree [ar] after the attack replacing top security officials, including a nephew of former president Ali Adullah Saleh.
Mai Saleh tweeted:
@A4Mai: Fadhel AlQawsi is appointed as the new commander of the Central Security forces by decree of President #Hadi #Yemen
@A4Mai: So Ammar [Saleh's nephew] is out? Did we have to witness a disaster for these decrees to come? #Yemen
Although some news sources have stated that Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack, many are waiting to learn more.
Yemen scholar Gregory D. Johnsen commented:
@gregorydjohnsen: Less rumor mongering please about today's attack in #Yemen. I promise it is ok to say: “I don't know”
And demanding more evidence, Mai Saleh tweeted:
@A4Mai: Would love to see that #AQAP statement in which it claimed responsibility for the attack #Yemen
News of Yemen Revolution Facebook page posted that 12 hours prior to the explosion, a pro-Saleh page on FB predicted the explosion and provided a link, which was subsequently removed.
Mohammed wondered how the suicide bomber went unnoticed:
@Yemen4Change: #Yemen | the word is: the suicide bomber was wearing military clothes & a belt packed with explosives, NO ONE NOTICED? #Sanaa
While Farea Al Muslimi asked:
@almuslimi: Why didn't #Saudi help by intelligence info about #AQAP as it did regarding the bombs being sent to #US? #Justwondering #YEMEN
Amid the many speculations and question marks, Yemen's Human Rights Minister Hooria Mashhour tweeted:
@Hooria_Mashhour: Transparent investigation should be done for all these mass crimes against humanity #yemen
Ataf Alwazir, a prominent Yemeni activist and blogger, encouraged people to look deeper than the repetitive news circulating:
@WomanfromYemen: always keep an open mind & dont take everything as it is. Dont be a copy paste person. Question & analyze. Thats why we have a mind.
The day of the blast was certainly one of the saddest days Sana'a and Yemen have ever seen. The attack raises questions regarding the efficacy of the joint US-Yemeni counterterrorism strategy, and give credence to the argument that US drone strikes are counterproductive and simply fuel extremism.