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Suicide bomber kills 46 at funeral service in southern Yemen

SANA'A, YEMEN (BNO NEWS) -- A suicide bomber blew himself up at a consolation in southern Yemen over the weekend, killing at least 46 people and injuring nearly 50 others, security officials said on Monday, blaming the bombing on al-Qaeda-linked militants.

The attack occurred during a consolation service for pro-government fighters in the small town of Ja'ar in Abyan Governorate, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) northwest of Zinjibar. Reports indicate the suicide bomber was targeting the chief of tribal fighters who have been fighting alongside the Yemeni army against local militants.

The Yemeni Defense Ministry confirmed at least 46 people were killed while 48 others were injured, including a number of people who remained in a critical condition on Monday. District officials said body parts were scattered at the scene of the blast, which caused significant damage.

The Head of the People's Committees, Abdul Latif al-Sayed, survived the attack which was blamed by government officials on al-Qaeda militants.

Earlier on Saturday, three al-Qaeda militants were killed when a suspected U.S. drone fired a missile at a vehicle in al-Qaten district of Hadhramaut Governorate. The events over the weekend follow recent attacks on security posts and villages, which some officials say indicates a possible comeback of al-Qaeda militants who were dealt severe blows in previous months.

Yemen is currently undergoing a transition process after a popular uprising erupted in the country last year, similar to protests seen in other countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Yemen held presidential elections in February, resulting in a victory for the country's new leader Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi.

In May, at least 120 people were killed and more than 350 others were injured when a suicide bomber wearing an army uniform blew himself up during a military parade rehearsal at al-Sabeen square in Sana'a. Most of the victims were from Yemen's Central Security Forces in what was one of the worst ever suicide bombings in the history of Yemen. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility.

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