A Yemeni soldier packing powerful explosives under his uniform blew himself up in the middle of an army battalion in Sanaa Monday, killing 96 troops and wounding around 300, a military official and medics said.

AT 12.30pm: “There are at least 50 dead and the toll could rise,” the military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of battalion of soldiers rehearsing for an army parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen, the official added.

Witnesses said human remains were scattered across the site of the blast at Sanaa’s Sabeen Square, where the Yemeni government often holds large military parades.

Monday’s attack is the deadliest since President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took power in February with a pledge to fight al Qaeda’s growing presence in the country.

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