A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military parade rehearsal on Monday in Yemen's capital, killing 96 in one of the deadliest attacks in the city in years, according to the Ministry of Defence, officials and witnesses.

The bombing appeared to be a failed assassination attempt against the Minister of Defence, Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, who arrived at the city square for the parade just minutes before the blast ripped through the area.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but it came as the country's new political leadership has been stepping up the fight against al-Qaeda militants holding large swaths of land in the nation's south.

While fighting al-Qaeda militants, Yemen's new President, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has been embroiled in a power struggle with loyalists of ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. He has sacked several of them along with family members from top positions in the armed forces, including the air force. — AP

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