JEDDAH: A Houthi drone on Thursday attacked a Yemeni government military parade in Lahaj province, killing six people and injuring many others.
The attack is the latest and most deadly challenge by the militants to the ceasefire agreement for Hodeidah agreed in Sweden last month.
The attack wounded at least two senior military officials. Footage of the attack showed a drone exploding over a podium around which dozens of military personnel were standing.
Soldiers scrambled to carry wounded comrades to military vehicles, while a man holding a camera bled on the ground, AFP reported.
UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths, who oversaw last month's talks in Sweden, said he was alarmed by the escalation and urged "restraint" by both sides.
The SE is alarmed by today's escalation of violence in #Yemen and urges all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint and refrain from further escalation.
— OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) January 10, 2019
Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said two senior military officials were wounded in the attack, Al Arabiya reported. “Once again this proves that the Houthi criminal militias are not ready for peace and that they are exploiting truces in order for deployment and reinforcements.”
“This is time for the international community to stand by the legitimate government and force the militias to give up their weapons and pull out of the cities.”
The Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber said that it is time for a firm international stand to end the Houthi coup.
The Houthis admitted carrying out Thursday's strike. AFP reported that at least 12 people were wounded, including top commanders, according to medics at Ibn Khaldoun hospital in the provincial capital Huta. Al Arabiya put the figure at at least 20.
Originally built by the then Soviet Union during the Cold War, Al-Anad served as the headquarters for US troops overseeing a long-running drone war against Al-Qaeda until March 2014, when it was overrun by the Houthis.
Government forces recaptured it in August 2015 as they recovered territory from the rebels with support from Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia.
The attack came one day after UN envoy Martin Griffiths warned "substantial progress" was needed on the ground before full-blown negotiations could be launched on ending the civil war.
The Houthis said in November they were halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government, however, the Saudi-led Arab coalition reported several attempted missile attacks by the militia in recent weeks. It has also accused the Houthis of numerous violations of the Hodeidah agreement.