Yemen car bomb attack in Sanaa
Police officers inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Yemen's capital Sana'aKhaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters

The Islamic State (Isis) has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack in Yemeni capital Sana'a which targeted Shi'ite Houthi rebels killing at least 28 people.

The car bomb attack took place near a Yemeni military hospital in the capital and casualties included civilians as well, reports suggest.

Yemeni officials confirmed that the explosion ripped through the area, dubbed by the Islamist militants as "Shi'ite Nest", on Monday night (29 June), but did not reveal the death toll.

Though some Houthi rebel leaders are thought to be the targets of the attack, it is unclear whether they were hurt or killed in the blast.

Isis published a message online claiming the bombing was a "revenge for the Muslims against the Houthi apostates". The Sunni Islamist extremist group considers Shi'ite Muslims as heretics.

Meanwhile, a medical source cited by Reuters said 28 people were injured in the blast, while AFP news agency quoted another source and confirmed that the same number of people were killed.

"The explosion was caused by a car bomb which exploded behind the military hospital in the Sha'oub district in Sanaa, which injured 28 people including 12 women in a building where victims of a previous attack were being mourned," a source told Reuters.

The area has been cordoned off after the blast.

Yemen has been toiling under severe unrest and fighting over several months ever since Shi'ite Houthi rebels seized control of many parts of the country from government forces. The advances by the Houthi rebels have forced the Sunni powerhouse and Yemen's neighbour, Saudi Arabia to wade into the conflict.