Dozens dead in attack on Yemen capital: Sources

SANAA, Yemen - A car bomb in front of a police academy in Yemen's capital Sanaa killed dozens of people on Wednesday, security and hospital officials said.

The attack took place as several people gathered in front of the building for a police recruitment event, according to security sources.

The blast in the capital came days after a bomb wounded six Shiite militiamen in Sanaa on Monday, while four people including a reporter were killed on Sunday in the mainly Shiite city of Dhamar.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's attack.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, considered by the United States to be the global jihadist network's most dangerous branch, has recently carried out a spate of attacks against Yemen's security forces.

The country has been dogged by instability since an uprising forced longtime strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power in 2012, with Huthi rebels and Al-Qaeda's franchise in the country seeking to fill the power vacuum.

AQAP has pledged to fight the Huthis, also known as Ansarullah, who overran the capital Sanaa unopposed in September and have since advanced into mainly Sunni districts such as Ibb.

The Al-Qaeda group has exploited the weakened central authority in Yemen since Saleh's departure following a year-long popular uprising.

The group's presence is strongest in the south and southeast of the impoverished country, but AQAP has also launched attacks in the capital itself.

The US, meanwhile, slapped sanctions on former president Saleh in November for allegedly supporting the Huthi advance.

It also blacklisted two Shiite rebel commanders, Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim and Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi, "for engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen".

The head of Yemen's Shiite Huthi militia threatened Saturday to take control of oil-rich Marib province, targeted by the group since it seized the capital and central areas.

President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has struggled to assert his authority since the Huthi takeover of the capital.

A new Yemeni government was formed in November as part of a UN-brokered peace deal aimed at restoring stability.

Made up of technocrats, the government was agreed with the Huthis and its formation was meant to pave the way for them to loosen their hold on Sanaa, though there have been no signs of the militia abandoning positions.

The Arabian Peninsula country is also facing continued violence in its restive south, where separatists are pushing for the restoration of independence.