By Vatican News staff writer
At least six people were killed on Sunday in Yemen’s port city of Aden by a car-bomb suspected to be targeting two senior government officials who survived the blast, Yemeni officials said.
The explosion targeted the convoy of Aden’s Governor Ahmed Lamlas and Agriculture Minister, Salem al-Suqatri in the district of Tawahi, noted Information Minister Moammar al-Iryani.
The six fatalities included Governor Lamlas’ press secretary and the head of his security detail, while at least seven other people who had been passing by were injured. The explosion also damaged several buildings in the area which were quickly sealed off by security forces.
The injured were taken to the hospital for medical attention.
No claim of responsibility
Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed called the explosion “a terrorist attack” and has ordered an investigation.
So far, no one has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s explosion.
Both Lamlas and al-Suqatri are members of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a separatist group that has struggled with the Saudi-backed government for control of Aden and the country’s wider south.
Aden has since become the seat of the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana’a in 2014. The city has been rocked by several explosions in the past years which have been blamed on local affiliates of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State groups.
Political instability and humanitarian crisis
A Yemeni unity government was formed last year under a power-sharing deal to end the struggle between the United Arab Emirates-backed STC and loyalists to President Mansour Hadi who is backed by Saudi Arabi. The aim was to unite both sides in the fight against the Houthi rebels who control the north of Yemen.
Yemen has been roiled by a devastating power struggle since 2014. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in the country’s conflict that has been dubbed the world’s worst humanitarian disaster by the United Nations. The coronavirus pandemic has also aggravated the crisis in the impoverished nation.