July 2, 2015 / 6:03 PM / in 2 years

Car bomb explodes near Yemeni mosque in downtown Sanaa, injures two: police

SANAA (Reuters) - A car bomb exploded near a mosque in the downtown area of the Yemeni capital on Thursday, wounding two people, police said.

The bomb went off close to the central bank after evening prayers, when the road was largely empty of passers-by, a police source told Reuters.

Earlier, witnesses said a blast occurred near the headquarters of the central bank but the target was the nearby mosque.

Shiite Houthi fighters closed down the surrounding area after the attack, witnesses said. So far no one has claimed responsibility.

Islamic State has stepped up its operations in Yemen, where Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also Sunni Islamist, had long dominated militant activity.

The Sunni jihadist group considers Shia Muslims heretics and has frequently targeted them in attacks in several countries.

It claimed responsibility for an attack on June 30 in the capital that killed at least 28 people and another on June 18 that killed at least 50 people.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari Writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Sami Aboudi, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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