Sanaa, Yemen - Yemeni officials blamed Sunday's deadly car bombing at an air force base near Aden on a Saudi member of al Qaeda, saying the attacker entered the country in July.
A senior official in the Ministry of Interior said the man was a leading al-Qaeda member hiding in Yemen. The official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, said the attacker was one of "tens" of al Qaeda fighters who entered Yemen through the southern province of Abyan, where an armed Islamist group has been battling government troops in recent weeks.
The official said Saudi Arabia was assisting Yemeni authorities in verifying the man's identity.
Sunday's bombing killed at least six soldiers, a senior security official and witnesses said. The attack took place as government forces were preparing to send reinforcement to Abyan after clashes intensified over the past week, the official said.
Ahmed Massood, head of security in Aden, said the Yemeni government will reveal the results of the investigation to media outlets after medical reports are complete. Massood told CNN that he had no information on whether the suicide bomber in the Aden attack on security forces was a Saudi citizen.
"The government has not officially announced details of the attacker; however, will do so when the investigation is complete," Masood said.
Three eyewitnesses who were near the scene said the attacker's body was completely burned, making it impossible for anyone to identify the man without medical tests.
"Most of the flesh of the attacker was burnt completely and the body was completely black. His facial expressions were all gone," said Mujahed Mohammed, one of the witnesses.
– Journalist Hakim al-Masmari contributed to this report.