Monday, 21 May 2012 08:23
Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in the centre of the Yemeni capital Sanaa that claimed the lives of almost 100 people.
Officials have said a bomber dressed in military uniform targeted soldiers rehearsing for a parade to mark Yemen's national day.
Al Jazeera's Jane Ferguson, reporting live from Sanaa, said that the death toll was still climbing by late Monday afternoon.
"We are hearing reports that 96 people were killed and many more injured. There have been requests for blood donations and the death toll could go even higher." Ferguson said.
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is scheduled to attend Tuesday's parade marking the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen.
Yemeni government soldiers are waging a fierce campaign in th country's south against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters who have taken advantage of political instability to gain territory.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for Monday's blast but our correspondent said it appeared to have been intended to send a signal to the government and the military.
"If they were targeting high profile guests, like the president, at the parade, then they would have attacked tomorrow," she said.
"This was a message to the authorities that they are willing and able to strike at the heart of the military and that nobody here is safe."