Cairo: Al Qaeda`s affiliate in Yemen has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing killing Shi`ite tribesmen in northern Yemen.
In a statement appearing on Sunday on extremist websites, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula described the Shi’ites as "despicable plants" to be uprooted, according to the SITE Intelligence Unit, which monitors such sites.
On Wednesday, a suicide car bomber struck a convoy of Shi’ites in northern Yemen killing 17.
Extremist Sunnis despise Shi`ites and consider them heretics.
Though an estimated 15-30 percent of the population is Shi`ite, Yemen has been spared the sectarian warfare once common in Iraq.
The Hawthi Shi`ite tribesman in Yemen, however, have waged an on-and-off struggle against the government for the last six years.