Houthis open fire on UN bomb safety team in Yemen

Houthi militants attacked members of the United Nations, Yemeni government liaison officers and an engineering team responsible for surveying and demining areas. (File/AFP)
Updated 31 January 2019
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Houthis open fire on UN bomb safety team in Yemen

  • Houthi militants attacked members of the United Nations, Yemeni government liaison officers and an engineering team responsible for surveying and demining areas
  • A government spokesman explained that the liaison officer waited for the UN delegate to enter the Red Sea Mills, but the Houthi militia refused to allow the road to be opened

JEDDAH: Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen have attacked an explosives safety team who were on their way to clear land mines from a vital food store in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

The Houthis opened fire on the UN-backed demining team on Wednesday while the safety experts were trying to clear access to grain silos in the Red Sea Mills in the city.

Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi said the Houthis attacked UN liaison officers belonging to the Yemeni government and an engineering team, preventing the team from reaching the silos.

The World Food Programme has been unable to gain access to the grain store since September. More than 50,000 tons of UN wheat is stored there, enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month.

The grain storage silos are at a frontline flashpoint on the eastern outskirts of the city. Last week, two silos were damaged by fire caused by Houthi mortar shelling.

Yemeni Prime Minister Moeen Abdelmalek said on Wednesday it was important to exert more efforts to improve the administrative and financial conditions in security and health services, and to focus on humanitarian aid and relief. 

He said the government was finalizing  procedures for the payment of administrative staff salaries, and working on the operating budgets for local authority offices.

The prime minister said a specialized operations room in the interim capital of Aden would  raise the level of coordination and communication between ministries.


Jordan links deadly blasts to militant cell

Updated 15 February 2019
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Jordan links deadly blasts to militant cell

  • Analysis of the site found the blasts were caused by "homemade explosives buried in the ground matching the type used by a terrorist cell in Al-Fuhais" last August
  • The Salt region was the scene of heavy clashes between gunmen and security forces after the attack which targeted a security patrol at a music festival

AMMAN: Jordan said Friday that two deadly explosions which rocked the Salt region northwest of the capital Amman were apparently linked to a militant cell.
A security source had previously told AFP that old mines were behind Thursday's blasts which killed a farmer and three members of the security forces.
But analysis of the site found the blasts were caused by "homemade explosives buried in the ground matching the type used by a terrorist cell in Al-Fuhais" last August, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said.
She was referring to an August 11 bomb attack on a security patrol in the nearby town of Al-Fuhais that killed a police sergeant and wounded six others.
The Salt region was the scene of heavy clashes between gunmen and security forces after the attack which targeted a security patrol at a music festival.
Four security force members and three "terrorists" were killed during a raid on a militant hideout a day after the blast.