Red Cross says shooting in Yemen kills staffer

Associated Press

Sanaa, Yemen – Unidentified armed men shot dead a humanitarian aid worker in Yemen’s southwestern province of Taiz early Saturday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

Hanna Lahoud of Lebanon, who was in charge of the ICRC’s detention program in Yemen, was shot at while on his way to visit a prison. He was rushed to hospital but died from his wounds. Other staff members accompanying him were unharmed, the ICRC said in a statement.

Yemeni security officials said Lahoud was killed in the district of al-Dabab which is under the control of forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. They said he suffered at least four gunshot wounds before being carried to the hospital where he died.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

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

The United Nations also condemned the “unjustified” killing of Lahoud. “Parties to the conflict are obliged under international humanitarian law to do everything possible to protect civilians and ensure they have the assistance they need to survive,” U.N. Human Coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande said.

Yemeni officials said an investigation would be held into the incident, according to a statement by the Ministry of Local Administration.

Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war since March 2015 pitting a Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi’s government against Shiite rebels, known as Houthis. The stalemated war has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million Yemenis in need of assistance.