Yemen’s civil war left the Arab world’s poorest country in chaos.
Yemen’s civil war left the Arab world’s poorest country in chaos
Yemenis leave a crowd of injured people at a location after an explosion at a council building near Aden’s airport. SABA via AP
By Zainab Fattah , CNN Written by
Yemen is in chaos after a gun battle and an explosion outside the city’s main airport.
The attack took place around midday on Friday, killing at least eight people. A journalist and a security guard were among the dead, and an unknown number of people are believed to have been injured.
Mohamed Al-Rufai, an activist and a witness, said that the blast and gunfire had taken place near the Aden Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is just off the airport’s tarmac.
A Yemeni man in police uniform and armed with a pistol approaches a crowd of injured people at a location after an explosion at a council building near Aden’s airport. SABA via AP
Heavily armed men ran towards the building, and when they realized that they had shot the wrong person, they retreated.
The group then returned a few minutes later to re-interview the attacker, he added.
“In return for abandoning his gun, these security men got 10,000 Yemeni rials each — the equivalent of about $50,” he said.
At least 20 people were injured by the explosion, the hospital said.
Abdul-Fattah Al-Shamari, head of the government’s security and criminal protection committee, said in a radio interview that the attacker was a young man who had been involved in protests against President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government.
“He fled to Aden in 2014 because he was unhappy with the policies of the government, and he was wanted by the government forces,” Al-Shamari said.
The attack comes at a time of mounting tension between members of the government and several military factions, many of which are backed by Saudi Arabia, that oppose it.
Fighting in recent weeks in Yemen’s second city has displaced tens of thousands of people, and struck a chord in the region, prompting both Saudi Arabia and its regional rival Iran to send troops into the country.
While the Saudi-led coalition is fighting against Houthi militias, Iran is supporting Hadi’s forces. But fighting has exacerbated Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and transformed Aden into a battleground.
The United Nations has warned that at least half of Yemen’s population, or 22 million people, could face famine in the coming months, with local activists estimating that at least 9,500 people have been killed in a 15-month-long conflict.
Part of the reason for Yemen’s current chaos is the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Both have contributed weapons and advisers to the war, but have been accused of directly arming and supporting specific factions.