Monday, 28 March 2011

Explosions in an arms factory leave at least 70 dead

A series of explosion in an ammunition factory in the southern town of Jaar has killed at least 70 people and left many injured. According to a number of reports, the factory had recently been seized by Islamist militants that clashed with Yemen's security forces on Sunday 27th March.

Government officials have said they expect the death toll to rise as victims were still being recovered from beneath the rubble. The factory, in the Khanfar area, makes munitions and Kalashnikov rifles.

Over the last few weeks, Yemen has been shaken by political turmoil and an upraising which seems to be gaining momentum with eatch day. Inspired by the “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia, Yemeni people took to the streets demanding better living conditions, employment opportunities and more political freedom.

Yemen has been plagued by security issues including Al-Qa'ida activity, members of which are said to have looted the factory while taking control of Jaar. The cause of the explosion remains unclear.

Sources: BBC News, Aljazeera, Reuters, Ynet News

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

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