The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Monday for an attack on police in south Yemen that left 29 dead, in a sign of its growing activity in the turbulent country.
IS issued the claim in an online statement attributed to its branch in Lahj province, after a Sanaa branch said it was behind multiple suicide bombings Friday at Huthi Shia mosques that killed 142 people.
The attacks in the capital and in Lahj the same day were the first claimed by IS in Yemen, where its rival al Qaeda group remains the most prominent extremist organisation.
The group’s “lions” in Lahj “liquidated 29 apostates” among members of the security forces, it said in a brief statement posted on Twitter.
A local security official said 29 people, including 27 members of the security forces, were killed in clashes in Lahj, north of the port city of Aden, after gunmen attacked police.
IS, which has a strong presence in Syria and Iraq, posted gory pictures on Islamist websites of what it said were policemen killed in the attack.