Explosion at Yemen ammunition plant kills 78.

A powerful blast at a factory making explosives and weapons…

A powerful blast at a factory making explosives and weapons in southern Yemen killed at least 78 people on Monday after the facility was briefly taken over by Islamic militants and then looted by residents of the area, officials said.

Many women and children from the surrounding villages were killed in the explosion, which left some bodies blackened and burned, said medical and security officials in Abyan province. The blast appeared to be accidental but there was no word on the exact cause.

On Sunday, militants took over the factory and the nearby the town of Jaar, taking advantage of the country’s deteriorating security as an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests threatens the president who has ruled the impoverished and divided nation for 32 years.

Source: The Associated Press via MSNBC.

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