|Security forces collect evidence inside the bus after the bombing attack in Sanaa, Yemen, on Aug. 25, 2013. Al-Qaida affiliates launched a bombing attack on a bus near the air force base in the capital Sanaa on Sunday, killing at least 12 air force cadets aboard, officials and witnesses said. (Xinhua/Mohammed Mohammed)
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SANAA, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida affiliates launched a bombing attack on a bus near the air force base in the capital Sanaa on Sunday, killing at least 12 air force cadets aboard, officials and witnesses said.
"A bus carrying at least 24 air force cadets was blown up on a main road while heading toward the air force base in Sanaa, killing at least 12 cadets," an air force official told Xinhua, saying al-Qaida carried out the attack.
"Initial investigations showed that an intensified explosive device was either planted inside the bus or thrown on the road in front of the bus while it was driving, which totally destroyed it," the official said, on condition of anonymity.
Security forces have cordoned off the bombing site and sent the wounded to a nearby military hospital.
The official the wounded were in critical conditions and the death toll might be increased.
Meanwhile, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility in an exclusive statement received by Xinhua.
"It was the first response from us (AQAP) to Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's remarks, in which he glorified the U.S. drone criminals in Yemen and promised more killings," the statement said.
During a meeting on Thursday in Sanaa, Hadi said that 40 suspected al-Qaida members had been killed in recent counterterrorism operations, and he vowed to keep fighting the Islamists until they laid down their weapons.
"We will force al-Qaida to abandon their arms and considered themselves to be part of the Yemeni people, not an enemy of the people of Yemen," Hadi said.
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