A suicide bomber killed at least 26 people in central Yemen on Wednesday when he blew himself up at a cultural center where students were celebrating the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday, a security official said.

At least 48 people were also wounded, including many women and children, the official said, according to state news agency Saba. The celebration, in the city of Ibb, was organized by the Houthis, the Shi’ite Muslim group that controls most of Yemen.

No one claimed responsibility for attack, but similar bombings have been carried out by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which operates in Yemen and regards Shi’ites as heretics.

Tensions have increased in Yemen since the Houthis captured the capital Sanaa in September and expanded south and west. The Western-allied country, which shares a long border with the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, had been trying to overcome an al Qaeda threat before the Houthi advance.

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