Houthi missile attack, suicide bombs kill 51 in Aden

ADEN, Yemen — A rebel missile struck a military parade in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden as coordinated suicide bombings targeted a police station in another neighborhood of the city on Thursday, killing at least 51 people and wounding dozens, a security official and witnesses said.

The missile hit the neighborhood of Breiqa where a military parade was underway by the newly-recruited Yemeni army forces backed by the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Houthi rebels since 2015.

The Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014.

The Yemeni government of Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi controls the southern port city of Aden. The Houthi movement, which says its revolution is against corruption, holds Sanaa and most of the biggest urban centers of the nation in the Arabian Peninsula.

Since the rebels seized the country’s capital, Sanaa, in 2014, the southern port city of Aden has served as the temporary seat of the government.

The parade was taking place in the pro-coalition al-Galaa camp, said the Yemeni official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. The official didn’t give a breakdown for the casualties at the parade.

The website of the Houthi rebels, Al-Masirah, quoted spokesman Brigadier General Yehia Sarea as saying that the rebels fired a medium-range ballistic missile at the parade, leaving scores of casualties, including military commanders.

A short while earlier, a car, a bus and three motorcycles laden with explosives targeted a police station during a morning lineup, said Abdel Dayem Ahmed, a senior police official. He said four suicide bombers were involved in the attack. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Ahmed told The Associated Press that 11 were killed in the attack at the police station and that at least 29 were wounded.

A Yemeni health official said that along with the 51 killed, at least 56 people were wounded in Thursday’s attacks. Both the security and health official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Thursday’s attacks were the deadliest in Aden since November 2017, when a local affiliate of the Islamic State group targeted the city’s security headquarters, leaving 15 dead, mostly policemen.

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by the Houthis, who drove out the internationally recognized government. Months later, in March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched its air campaign to prevent the rebels from overrunning the country’s south.

In the relentless campaign, Saudiled airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia and have targeted vessels in the Red Sea.

Agencies – Xinhua

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