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Deadly Houthi drone strike hits military parade at Yemen's largest airbase

The Houthi drone strike killed officers and senior leaders in the Saudi-led coalition. [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 January, 2019

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The attack by the Houthi rebels comes as a blow to Yemen peace efforts after a cease-fire was signed for the key port city of Hodeida last month.
A rebel airstrike hit a Yemeni military parade outside the southern port city of Aden on Thursday, killing several troops from the Saudi-led coalition, Yemeni officials said.

The attack by the Houthi rebels comes as a blow to Yemen peace efforts after a cease-fire was signed for the key port city of Hodeida last month, and just a day after UN envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council that the agreement had brought a considerable de-escalation to the conflict.

Pro-rebel news website al-Masirah said the attack was carried out by a drone that targeted "invaders and mercenaries" at Al-Anad Air Base in the southern province of Lahj, leaving "dozens of dead and wounded."

Military officials say the dead and wounded include "officers and senior leaders" of the coalition troops, which in southern Yemen contain a strong contingent from the United Arab Emirates that largely oversees the Al-Anad base.

The air base once hosted US forces fighting al-Qaeda in this country on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

Saudi satellite broadcaster Al-Hadath put the death toll at five in Thursday's drone strike.

The report said that among the wounded were Mohammad Saleh Tamah, head of Yemen's Intelligence Service, senior military commander Mohammad Jawas, and Lahj governor Ahmed al-Turki, adding that authorities were still searching for wounded among the rubble.

The Yemeni officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to reporters.

The war between the Houthis and troops loyal to the internationally-recognised government escalated in March 2015, when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile and the Saudi-led coalition intervened.

The conflict has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, which says 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015, although rights group maintain the actual death toll is five times higher.  

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