The governor of the main southern city of Aden in war-wracked Yemen yesterday survived a deadly bomb attack as Saudi-led air raids drew international criticism over the impact on humanitarian aid efforts.
The attack on his temporary headquarters in the Aden Faculty of Administrative Sciences killed four people and wounded 20 others, governor Nayef al-Bakri told AFP.
It was the first such attack in Aden since pro-government forces retook the city from Iran-backed Shia Houthi rebels in mid-July.
“It was an attack by a rocket-propelled grenade,” said the governor, who was unharmed. He said he had given orders to hunt down the assailants, who have not been identified.
The four dead were bodyguards, the port city’s security chief General Mohamed al-Musaed said, while Bakri’s brother was seriously wounded.
Bakri is known for his close ties to the Islamist party Al Islah. He was deputy governor of Aden until the Houthi rebels advanced on the city in March after seizing the capital Sanaa.
Exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi later named him governor, rewarding him for remaining in the city during months of fierce fighting.
The recapture of Aden by loyalist forces supported by Saudi-led Arab air strikes was a turning point in the conflict, paving the way for their advance across the south.
Aden was Hadi’s last refuge before he fled into exile in neighbouring Saudi Arabia in March.
Riyadh has since March led a bombing campaign and air and sea blockade against the Houthis and their allies in a bid to restore his authority.
Medics and witnesses said yesterday a coalition air strike killed 13 teaching staff and four children in northern Yemen, in a raid apparently targeting the Shia rebels.
Five Houthis were also killed in the strike, according to medical sources.
Unicef condemned what it called Tuesday’s “senseless bloodshed” in Amran province and said civilians have “paid a most terrible price” in Yemen’s conflict. Nearly 400 children have been killed and more than 600 others injured in the past four months, according to Unicef.
The United Nations says the war in Yemen has killed a total of nearly 4,500 people, many of them civilians.
The top UN aid official has also strongly criticised the air strikes Tuesday on Hodeida, in which Houthis and dockers are reported to have been killed in the absence of a reliable casualty toll.
“These attacks are in clear contravention of international humanitarian law and are unacceptable,” Stephen O’Brien told the United Nations Security Council in New York.
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