Senior officer among 5 soldiers dead in attack near Yemen's Aden: officials

Senior officer among 5 soldiers dead in attack near Yemen's Aden: officials
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A senior army officer was among five Yemeni soldiers killed on Wednesday in a bomb attack near the southern city of Aden
Aden has been the target of several attacks claimed by the Islamic State group [Getty- archive]

A senior army officer was among five Yemeni soldiers killed on Wednesday in a bomb attack near the southern city of Aden, officials said.

"Major General Thabet Jawas and four soldiers were killed in a car bomb explosion" as they travelled through the village of Al-Madina al-Khadra, 10 kilometres (six miles) north of Aden, a security official told AFP.

A local official confirmed the attack and the death toll.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Jawas was considered one of the main commanders fighting Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels since the start of the country's civil war in 2014.

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Yemen's internationally-recognised government relocated to Aden from the capital Sanaa in late 2014, forced out by the Houthis.

The bomb attack came just days before the seventh anniversary on March 26 of the start of a Saudi-led military coalition's intervention in support of the government.

Yemen's south is often the target of car bomb or missile attacks that the authorities blame on the rebels.

Aden, which is also home to a separatist movement, has been the target of several attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other militants loyal to IS have thrived in the chaos of Yemen's war.

AQAP has carried out operations against both the Houthis and government forces.

In October last year, six people were killed in a car-bomb attack targeting Aden's governor.

The governor, Ahmed Lamlas, and Salem al-Socotri, a government minister, both survived the explosion, which went off as their convoy passed.

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Later that same month, at least 12 civilians, including children, were killed in a car bomb blast near Aden's airport.

That explosion was the deadliest since December 2020 when explosions ripped through Aden's airport targeting cabinet members.

At least 26 people, including three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, were killed and scores wounded in the blasts that struck as ministers disembarked from an aircraft.

Some 80 percent of Yemen's population of about 30 million people depend on aid for survival, after years of a conflict that has killed almost 380,000 people, directly or indirectly, according to the UN.

Repeated diplomatic efforts have failed to get the two sides to agree on a peace deal.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said earlier this month that it sought to host discussions starting next week between Yemen's warring sides in Saudi Arabia, despite the Houthi rebels' rejection of talks in "enemy countries".