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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Yemen: Red Cross employee killed by gunmen in Taiz

Aid group says Lebanese national Hanna Lahoud’s car came under fire as he traveled to visit a prison

The shattered rear window of the Red Cross vehicle that was carrying Red Cross employee Hanna Lahoud, parked outside a hospital in the country's third-city of Taiz. A Red Cross employee was killed in Yemen's southern city of Taez, an ICRC spokesman said, after a gunman had opened fire on an ICRC vehicle in the Zabab district in the west of the city. Ahmad Al Basha / AFP / April 21, 2018
The shattered rear window of the Red Cross vehicle that was carrying Red Cross employee Hanna Lahoud, parked outside a hospital in the country's third-city of Taiz. A Red Cross employee was killed in Yemen's southern city of Taez, an ICRC spokesman said, after a gunman had opened fire on an ICRC vehicle in the Zabab district in the west of the city. Ahmad Al Basha / AFP / April 21, 2018

An employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been shot and killed in the Yemeni city of Taiz, the aid group said on Saturday.

The organisation confirmed Hanna Lahoud’s death in Yemen in a tweet. It said in a statement that unknown gunmen attacked his vehicle as the Lebanese national traveled to a prison in the southwestern Yemeni city.

“We condemn this brutal and apparently deliberate attack on a dedicated humanitarian worker,” said the ICRC's Middle East Director, Robert Mardini.

Mr Lahoud was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries.The colleagues he was traveling with were unharmed. The ICRC said it is still investigating the circumstances of the attack.

He presided over the ICRC’s programme on detention in the war-ravaged country, it said.

“Hanna was a young man full of life, and was widely known and liked. Nothing can justify his murder,” it wrote.

“Today, we are mourning for our dear friend and colleague. Our hearts and thoughts are with Hanna’s loved ones.”

Yemen has been wracked by civil war since March 2015 when Houthi rebels overran the capital Sana’a. A Saudi-led coalition has been trying to restore Yemen's internationally recognised government to power in the country.

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The Houthis have launched several rocket attacks on neighboring Saudi Arabia. Riyadh accuses them of using Iranian-made drones. Iran denies supplying weapons to the rebels.

Earlier this week, the coalition warned of a “painful” response if Houthis launched further missile attacks.

“If the Houthis continue targeting industrial or residential facilities, the response will be hard and painful,” Colonel Turki Al Malki, the Saudi-led coalition’s spokesman, said.

More than 10,000 people have died in the conflict and the UN has declared the country to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The global body said this week that it hopes to rekindle peace talks between the internationally-recognised government and the rebels.

“A negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only way to end the Yemeni conflict and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis,” Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, told the Security Council on Tuesday.

“Peace becomes possible when we see the good in our foes, even though we can see clearly the cruelties of war,” he added.