November 24th is Ashoura Day, and it is a day that is commemorated in the Muslim world by both the Sunni and Shite sects. However, in Yemen, it was a tragic day as four people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded in an explosion that targeted a Shiite Ashoura Celebration in the capital Sanaa. This was the first sectarian bombing that occurs in Sanaa, an alarming development with the clear aim to fuel sectarianism in Yemen. Many netizens in Yemen condemned the attack and tweeted statements that rejected sectarianism.
Mai Saleh tweeted in disbelief:
@A4Mai: An attack targeting a Shiite Ashoura celebration kills 4 in #Sanaa. Are we sure this is #Yemen?
Sarah Jamal tweeted:
@Sarah_Sanaa: For the first time in Sanaa.. A bombing that targets Shiite ceremonies.. #Yemen
Adam Baron, a foreign journalist based in Yemen, noted:
@Adammbaron: believe there have been attacks on houthi ashura commemorations in #yemen (farther north) before, but todays is the first in sanaa.
Atiaf Alwazir tweeted:
Sarah Jamal tweeted the names of the victims of the attack along with a video:
@Sarah_Sanaa:video showing Yahya Al Kohlani, Abdulmalek Al Makhathi &Ibrahim Al Ghorbani all died in explosion #Ashoura #Yemen youtube.com/watch?v=eES_c3D…
The video of the aftermath of the attack was posted to YouTube by YouthStandYEMEN (graphic)
Blogger Afrah Nasser updated the death toll:
@AfrahNasser: The death toll rises to 4 killed people in today's attack during the Ashoura commemoration. RIP! #Yemen
She also posted the story on her blog:
Iona Craig, one of the oldest and top foreign journalists based in Yemen, tweets:
@ionacraig: Attacking Houthis in Sana'a. Not the kind of progression Yemen needs.
Finally Atiaf Alwazir warned:
@womanfromyemen: There are groups who have an interest in pushing sectarianism in #Yemen – let's not fall in that trap!
Sectarianism has often been used as a policy to divide and concur and many Yemenis do not want to fall into that trap nor see their country, which is already divided on the political level, be prey to such aims or be part of any proxy war. Nobody who really loves Yemen would want it to turn into another Lebanon or Iraq.