Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 27 September 2020

Yemen: blast hits military parade in Al Dhalea, killing nine

No claim of responsibility made for attack near guest platform

People gather at the scene of a blast which struck a military graduation parade in the town of al-Dhalea, Yemen December 29, 2019. Reuters
People gather at the scene of a blast which struck a military graduation parade in the town of al-Dhalea, Yemen December 29, 2019. Reuters

A missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck a military graduation parade in the southern town of Dhalea, southern Security Belt Forces said on Sunday.

They said at least nine people were killed, including three children. More than 20 people were wounded.

“A Houthi missile hit Al Somood Square in Al Dhalea city where a military parade for security forces in the province was held on Sunday morning,” Capt Fuad Jubari, spokesman for Al Dhalea military forces, told The National.

Capt Jubari said the missile was fired from the village of Al Erfaf in the district of Damt in northern Al Dhalea, about 40 kilometres from the parade.

“Fortunately, the Houthi missile attack took place 20 minutes after the military parade was over," he said.

"All the victims were civilians who were in charge of organising the platform in the square. Some are children."

Those killed or injured in the blast were taken to Al Naser public hospital metres from the square, a medical source said.

“We received seven corpses in addition to 20 injuries, some of whom were severely injured,” Dr Sameeh Hizam said.

Yemen has suffered from almost five years of conflict since the Houthi rebels ousted President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi’s government in late 2014.

The uprising led to military intervention in 2015 by a Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore Mr Hadi's internationally recognised government.

Houthi rebels often try to target military parades and gatherings. In August, they used rockets and drones in an attack on a parade in Aden, killing 32 people moments after a suicide bombing killed 10 in another part of the city.

In January, an attack on a similar parade in the southern province of Lahij killed several soldiers, including the deputy chief of staff at the time, Saleh Al Zindani. Lahij Governor Ahmed Al Turki was among those injured.

The town of Dhalea is controlled by southern separatist forces. It lies on the main road linking the southern port of Aden, which is controlled by Mr Hadi's government and the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, in the north.

A front line runs across Al Dhalea province.

The Houthis have been trying to wrest the province from the southern secessionists for years, but without much progress.

Updated: December 30, 2019 02:33 AM

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