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Blast hits Yemen mosque

The New York Times reported Friday a blast shook a mosque in the city of Saada in northwest Yemen, near the border with Saudi Arabia, local officials said.

Officials said the cause of the blast came from a car bomb, but did not express how many people were killed. However, they did say that most of those who died were worshippers leaving from Friday prayers.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the region is known for violence from Zaydi rebels.

Since 2004 Zaydi rebels have carried out a religious movement motivated by the Shiite branch of Islam. In addition, Sunni extremist also operate in the area, where journalists are not allowed to enter.

Saudi Arabia claims that the Zaydi rebels are being assisted by Iran, which Iran has denied.

On the other hand, some analysts have claimed that Saudi Arabia is helping the tribesmen in the area in order to keep leverage over Yemen.

The BBC reported Abdulmalik al-Houthi, the leader of a Shia rebellion, has denied responsibility for the blast.

“We deny completely any role in this incident,? al-Houthi said. “It is not part of our ethics to target any mosque or any worshippers at all.? (BBC)

The Yemeni government says that al-Houthi’s rebels want to overthrow the government in the region and impose Shia religious law. However, the rebels say they are only defending their community against discrimination.

A BBC correspondent in Yemen said the mosque is often used by members of security forces, making it a potential target.