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Yemeni chief of army staff survives Houthi missile strike, son and seven others killed

Yemen's Houthi rebels have launched an assault on Marib [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2020

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The chief of staff of the Yemeni internationally-recognised government’s army has survived a missile strike on a military camp near Marib which killed his son and seven other people.
Eight soldiers were killed and several others wounded in a missile attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels on a military camp controlled by the Saudi-backed government in Marib province on Tuesday night.

The attack targeted the Yemeni army's chief of staff, killing at least two of his relatives.

General Saghir Hamoud Aziz survived the attack while seven people accompanying him, including his son, Captain Fahd Aziz and his nephew Lieutenant Abdul Qawi Aziz were killed.

Military sources said that the Houthis launched a ballistic missile at the Sahn al-Jin military camp near Marib, where a meeting of Yemeni army leaders was taking place, killing General Saghir Aziz’s companions.

The local headquarters of the Yemeni defence ministry and the army’s staff command are located in the camp.

General Aziz was promoted by Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to Chief of Staff of the Army and Commander of the Army’s Joint Operations last February.

The attack took place after a one-month ceasefire, announced on 24 April by the Saudi-led coalition which supports the internationally recognised Yemeni government, expired. The ceasefire was proclaimed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Houthis, who are allied with Iran, did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack, but have pushed on their offensive on Marib province, northeast of the capital Sanaa, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to launch air strikes.

The UN has been pressing both sides to agree on a permanent ceasefire, establish a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic and resume peace negotiations that faltered in late 2018.

The UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, warned on Friday that the the spread of the virus is widespread across the country, whose healthcare system has been blighted by years of conflict that has driven millions from their homes.

Yemen in Focus: War has hindered Yemen's chances to beat coronavirus

Yemen has been locked in civil war since Houthi rebels ousted the government and seized power in the capital in 2014, and a Saudi-led coalition intervened to back the internationally-recognised government several months later.

Yemen has officially recorded 249 cases and 49 deaths so far, but medical charity Doctors Without Borders said this week at least 68 virus patients had died at its Aden facility in the first half of May alone - calling it the "tip of the iceberg".

Agencies contributed to this report.

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