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Bomb hits governor's office in Yemen's Aden, four dead

Houthi rebels have attacked pro-government forces for the second consecutive day [AFP]

Date of publication: 20 August, 2015

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A bomb attack on the government's headquarters in Aden has killed four as Houthi rebels attacked pro-government forces for the second consecutive day yesterday after weeks of retreating.

A bomb attack on the governor's temporary headquarters in Yemen's main southern city of Aden earlier today killed four people and wounded 10 others, security officials and medics said.

Governor Nayef al-Bakri was unharmed in the blast at the headquarters of the Aden Faculty of Administrative Sciences, which is housing the governor's offices, the sources said.

It was the first such attack in Aden since pro-government forces retook the city from Iran-backed Shia rebels in mid-July.

The authorities could not immediately identify the perpetrators, the security officials said.

Bakri is known for his close ties to the Islamist Al-Islah Party.

He was deputy governor of Aden until the Houthi rebels advanced on the city in March after seizing the capital Sanaa.

Exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi later appointed him governor, rewarding him for remaining in the city during months of fierce fighting while many other provincial officials fled.

     Five pro-government fighters were killed in the rebel attack on the Labouza military base.

The recapture of Aden by loyalist forces supported by Saudi-led air strikes was a turning point in the conflict, paving the way for their advance across the south, although the rebels still hold Sanaa.

This came after Houthi rebels attacked pro-government forces for the second consecutive day yesterday after weeks of retreating, security officials said.

Five pro-government fighters were killed in the rebel attack on the Labouza military base, said Qayed Nasser, an anti-rebel forces spokesman in Lahj province.

Anti-rebel fighters have failed to push the rebels and their allies out of the Aqaba Tharaa area, which they took control of a day earlier in a similar attack, said independent security officials and witnesses.

Fighting in Yemen pits the Shia Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Brig. Gen. Fadl Hassan said the pro-government forces were tricked in Aqaba Tharaa by a brigade from the Republican Guard who were loyal to Saleh but were pretending to be fighting alongside Hadi forces. Saudi-led airstrikes killed 20 of the brigade and Houthi fighters, Houthi security officials and medical officials said.

Shelling killed five civilians south of the city of Taiz, while suspected al-Qaida fighters killed a soldier and wounded others manning a checkpoint in Hadramawt province, security and tribal officials said.

All officials and witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to reporters or for fear of reprisals.

In a separate incident, an airstrike on a teacher's office in Amran, north of Sanaa, killed 13 teachers and four children Tuesday night, the executive director of the U.N. children's agency, Anthony Lake, said in a statement. He said 20 people were injured.

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