Yemen war: Houthi missile attack on military parade kills 32

Middle East
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Soldiers are seen at the scene of the blast after a missile attack on a military paradeImage copyright Reuters
Image caption The attack took place during a military parade in the southern city of Aden

At least 32 people have been killed in an attack by the rebel Houthi movement on a military parade in Yemen.

The parade in the southern port city of Aden was targeted by missiles and an armed drone, a Houthi-run TV channel says.

Aden is the seat of Yemen’s internationally recognised government.

Earlier, 10 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a police station in the city. It is not clear if the two attacks are linked.

The rebels say the military parade was part of preparations by pro-government forces for a fresh assault on Houthi-held territory just north of the city.

But the government said it was a graduation ceremony for newly recruited soldiers.

Bodies were strewn on the ground after the attack and soldiers were seen crying, one witness told Reuters news agency. A senior commander is believed to have been killed.

“The blast occurred behind the stand where the ceremony was taking place,” the witness said. “A group of soldiers were crying over a body believed to be of [a] commander.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The explosion reportedly occurred behind the viewing stand

Dozens of people were wounded, the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says.

The military camp where the attack took place belongs to a pro-government force known as the Security Belt.

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Media captionThe hidden victims of the Yemen war

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in March 2015, when Houthi rebels seized control of much of the west of the country and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee abroad.

Alarmed by the rise of a group they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shia Muslim power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Muslim Arab states began an air campaign aimed at restoring Mr Hadi’s government.

The coalition received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK and France.

Estimates of those killed range from 10,000 to more than 70,000, the vast majority being Yemenis and an estimated two-thirds of those from Saudi-led air strikes.

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