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Gunman kills Yemen university dean and two family members

Dr Najat Ali Moqbel was killed in her home [Twitter]

Date of publication: 17 May, 2018

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The dean of Aden University and two members of her family, including a four-year old girl, were killed by a masked gunman in her home in Aden.
The dean of a university in southern Yemen, her son and infant granddaughter, were shot dead at their home in Aden on Wednesday, in the latest murders to rock the coastal city.

The victim, Dr Najat Ali Moqbel, was the dean at the faculty of sciences at Aden University and was killed when a masked gunman broke into her home in Inma, west Aden.

Her son Sameh and four-year-old granddaughter Lia were also murdered by the gunman, Aden University said.

"The academic community [in] the city of Aden, and all of Yemen were shocked by the assassination of Dr Najat Ali Moqbel... after a gunman stormed her home," Aden University said in a statement.

Neighbours managed to catch the gunman and held him until security services arrived at the scene.

Sameh's wife and son are also being treated at a hospital, according to local reports.

The university president convened an emergency meeting in the wake of the killings, and appointed a task force to push authorities to hold a transparent investigation into the case.

Yemen's Prime Minister Ahmad bin Dagher described the murders as "despicable", in a statement carried by the state-run Saba news agency. 

President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued directives for security agencies to merge under the umbrella of the interior ministry to facilitate information sharing, bin Dagher added.

Abdelaziz bin Habtour, the prime minister of the breakaway Houthi government in Sanaa - and the former governor of Aden - also condemned the assassination.

"The academic community has lost a distinguished colleague, one of the best members of the Faculty of Science at the University of Aden," he said.

Bin Habtour also highlighted her scholarly contributions and books in a statement carried by the rebel Saba news agency. 

Habtour blamed the coalition for allowing Aden to descend into "chaos".  

The southern port city has seen a string of assassinations against religious figures in recent weeks. 

Aden has served as the base of Yemen's internationally-recognised government since Houthi rebels overran the capital Sanaa in 2014. 

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of allies intervened in March 2015 on behalf of the Yemeni government to push back the rebels after they overran large parts of the country.

But Aden has been the scene of deep division among the anti-Houthi camp. 

In January, southern separatists backed by the UAE attacked government loyalist forces in Aden, overrunning the city. The government was forced to hunker down until Saudi and Emirati envoys arrived to quell the infighting. 

More than 10,000 people have been killed since 2015 in Yemen's conflict, which has unleashed what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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