SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni security officials said Wednesday an explosion targeting a government military convoy killed at least six Yemeni troops and one Saudi Arabian officer.
The blast took place in the eastern Hadramawt province, far from the part of Yemen controlled by the Houthi rebels, and also wounded at least 13 soldiers, many of them Saudi.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen has carried out similar attacks in the area.
This was the first such bombing to target Saudi forces in Hadramawt since the Saudi war in Yemen began in 2015.
It also comes days after the Houthi rebels claimed a drone and cruise missile attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.
The security officials said the officer who died was the representative of Saudi troops in Hadramawt, Lt. Col. Bandar Murid al-Otaiby. They said the wounded Saudi troops were airlifted to their home country.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the media.
The U.S.-backed military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began fighting in Yemen in 2015, after the Houthis overran the north, including the capital, Sanaa.
Al-Qaida has leveraged the chaos to its advantage. In 2018, the group said its numbers — which U.S. officials estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 members — were rising.
By AHMED AL-HAJ
FILE PHOTO: People walk on a street in Aden, Yemen, August 12, 2019. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman/File Photo