Yemeni officials say explosion near airport checkpoint kills 8

Ahmen Al-Haj
Associated Press

Sanaa, Yemen – At least eight people were killed in an explosion that rocked Yemen’s southern city of Aden Saturday, officials said.

The explosion happened close to a security checkpoint outside Aden’s international airport in the afternoon, they added. At least 11 others were injured, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion, which damaged buildings and an internet café in the area. Footage circulated online showed ambulances, sirens wailing, rushing to the site.

The coastal city has been rocked by several explosions in the past years, which have been blamed on local affiliates of al-Qaida and the Islamic State groups. The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have also targeted the city with ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones.

Aden has been the seat of the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi since the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels took over the capital, Sanaa, in 2014 triggering Yemen’s civil war.

The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in March 2015, backed by the United States, to try restore the government to power. Despite a relentless air campaign and ground fighting, the war has fallen largely into a stalemate, and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile, the Houthis on Saturday shelled the residential Camp neighborhood on the outskirts of the government-held city of Taiz, killing at least three children from the same family.

Moammar al-Iryani, information minister of the internationally recognized government, said at least six others were wounded, and posted graphic images showing wounded children.

The government-run SABA news agency reported that the Houthis fired a howitzer round that landed in the neighborhood.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis.

The shelling was the latest attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis to leave civilian casualties. On Thursday, a Houthi ballistic missile struck a residential neighborhood in the central province of Marib, killing at least 11 civilians and wounding 16 others.