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Homeland Security

Car Bomb Kills 26 in Yemen as President Vows to Fight Terror

RIA Novosti

19:34 25/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - At least 26 people were killed in a car bomb attack in southern Yemen just hours after the country’s new president vowed to crack down on terrorism in his inauguration speech on Saturday, international media reported.

Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack on a presidential palace in Mukalla, in Hadramout province. The attack came as Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was elected in a single-candidate poll on Tuesday, was sworn in as president to replace Ali Abdullah Saleh as part of a power transfer deal with the opposition.

Reuters quoted an al-Qaeda source as saying the terrorist network “is responsible for the suicide bombing in Mukalla in retaliation for the Republican Guard's crimes,” a reference to an elite unit of the Yemeni Army commanded by Saleh's son Ahmed.

In his live address to parliament broadcast on national television, Hadi pledged to "preserve the country's unity, independence and territorial integrity" and continue Yemen’s fight against al-Qaida.

"One of the most prominent tasks is the continuation of war against al-Qaida as a religious and national duty, and to bring back displaced people to their villages and towns,” Hadi was quoted by the BBC as saying.

A few hours later, a pickup laden with explosives was reported to have crashed into the gate of the presidential palace in Mukalla, leaving at least 26 people dead and injuring several others.

The region where the attack took place has been a stronghold of al-Qaeda militants, and a place where secessionists are seeking to revive a socialist southern state.

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