AL-MUKALLA: A car bomb targeted a Yemeni army commander in the southern port city of Aden, the country’s interim capital, triggering a large explosion that rocked the city, according to a local security official.
Maj. Gen. Saleh Ali Hasan, commander of the joint operations at the Aden-based 4th Military Regime, was inside his armed SUV in Mualla, a district of Aden, when a nearby car exploded.
The army commander survived the blast, which damaged his car, the official said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The local authorities have blamed the Iran-backed Houthis or Al-Qaeda and Daesh for a string of similar attacks targeting security and military officials in the city.
Gen. Shalal Ali Shaea, commander of a counterterrorism unit in Aden, accused terrorist organizations of carrying out the attack to undermine peace and security in the city.
“Terrorist bombings will not deter us from establishing security and stability,” Shaea told local reporters while visiting the scene of the blast.
The blast came as the country’s new Presidential Leadership Council is seeking to unify fragmented forces under its control and restore peace to the liberated provinces in Aden.
In a separate announcement, Yemeni national carrier Yemenia said early on Sunday that it would operate the first commercial flight from the Houthi-held Sanaa to Amman on Monday after the Yemeni government allowed passengers to travel with passports issued by the Houthis.
The flight had been scheduled to take place on April 24 but was cancelled after the Houthis insisted on adding dozens of passengers with passports issued in their territories.
On Saturday, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Awadh bin Mubarak said that the resumption of flights from Sanaa airport came after big efforts by his government, the Arab coalition, the UN Yemen envoy and the Jordanian authorities.
“Alleviating the suffering of our people in all Yemen would remain our top concern,” the Yemeni minister said on Twitter.
Resuming flights from Sanaa is one of the terms of the two-month UN-brokered truce that came into effect on April 2.
The other terms included stopping fighting across the country, allowing fuel ships to enter Hodeidah seaport and opening roads in Taiz and the other provinces.
The Yemeni government accused the Houthis of refusing to lift their siege on Taiz and continuing to attack government troops and civilian targets, mainly in Taiz and Marib.
On Sunday, local media said that three civilians, including a child, were wounded when an explosive-laden drone fired by the Houthis hit a tribal leader’s house in Raghwan, in Marib.
Also in Marib, a soldier was killed and another one wounded when the Houthis opened fire at them in a contested area in northwest Marib province, Yemen’s army said on Saturday.
Last week, the Houthis killed two soldiers from the government’s Joint Forces in Hays district in the western province of Hodeidah.