A Yemeni health official says a car bomb outside the gate of a presidential compound in a southern city has killed at least 21 people, hours after the country’s new president was formally inaugurated.

The health official said the fatalities in the blast Saturday in the city of al-Mukalla were presidential guards. A security official said it was a suicide blast. He did not provide a death toll.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not allowed to speak to the press.

Southern separatists and Islamist insurgents are active in the region.

The blast came as Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi was sworn in as president to replace longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, following an election aimed at ending over a year of political turmoil.

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