Tuesday 18 June 2019

Exploding-drone attack kills six at army parade

 

Soldiers inspect the scene of a Houthi drone attack at a Yemeni government military parade. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer
Soldiers inspect the scene of a Houthi drone attack at a Yemeni government military parade. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer

Raf Sanchez

Houthi rebels used an explosive-packed drone to target Yemen's military leaders at an army parade yesterday, killing six soldiers and wounding several senior officers.

The Iranian-backed rebels detonated the drone above a ceremonial dais, spraying Yemeni officers with shrapnel and causing the ceremony to dissolve into chaos.

The attack showed a surprising level of sophistication for the Houthi rebels and is likely to further undermine UN efforts to broker a peace deal to end the Yemen's brutal four-year war.

Video of the attack showed the drone screeching down from the cloudy sky and exploding a few metres above the dais where Yemeni officers were watching the military parade. Six soldiers were killed in the blast.

Ahmed al-Turki, governor of Lahj province, was wounded in the attack along with several senior military and intelligence officers.

The attack took place near the al-Anad airbase outside Aden, deep inside government-held territory in southern Yemen.

Nick Waters, an analyst with Bellingcat investigative website, said the Houthi drone appeared to be based on an Iranian Ababil T drone. It was not clear if the drone was supplied by Iran or constructed by the Houthis based on an Iranian design.

"This appears to have been a well-planned and well-executed attack," he said.

The drone was likely brought down using GPS co-ordinates, rather than being steered by an operator.

Irish Independent

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