Monday 19 February 2018

Governor of Aden killed in car bomb claimed by jihadis

People look at the wreckage of a car at the site of the car bomb attack that killed Jaafar Mohammed Saad
People look at the wreckage of a car at the site of the car bomb attack that killed Jaafar Mohammed Saad

Mohammed Mukhasaf

The governor of Aden was killed by a car bomb yesterday in Yemen's southern port city, in an attack for which Isil has claimed responsibility.

A local official and residents said at least six members of General Jaafar Mohammed Saad's entourage also died in the attack, which targeted the governor on his way to work.

Several other people were wounded.

The attack came in the Tawahi district of Aden, where President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi had returned to oversee a war against Iran-allied Houthis.

Isil, in a statement posted on a messaging service, said that it detonated a car laden with explosives as Saad's convoy passed by. The group promised more operations against "the heads of apostasy in Yemen".

The group also posted what it said were photos of the booby-trapped vehicle as a white van carrying Saad drove past, then two other photos of a huge ball of fire which it said were taken as the bomb exploded.

A local official and residents said earlier a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into the governor's car.

Isil's local branch has stepped up operations since the outbreak of civil war in Yemen, emerging as a forceful rival to al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap), the main militant group in the country in recent years.

Spectacular attacks have been launched on security bases and on mosques run by Houthi forces, who control the capital, Sanaa.

The Houthis, who follow the Zaydi branch of Shi'ite Islam, have been fighting a coalition of mainly Gulf Arab forces, which began air strikes against them in March.

The attack came a day after assailants killed a senior army officer and a judge who had presided over the trial of militants suspected in the bombing of the US warship USS Cole in Aden in 2000, in two separate attacks in the city.

In October, four suicide bombers detonated car bombs at a temporary Yemeni government headquarters and two Arab coalition outposts, killing more than a dozen people.

Irish Independent

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