AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni government officials have accused the Houthis of carrying out a car bomb attack on Tuesday that targeted the Yemen army’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sagheer bin Aziz.
Bin Aziz, who was crossing the central province of Marib in a vehicle convoy, narrowly escaped death when a car laden with explosives detonated near his motorcade, injuring four civilians and three soldiers.
Muammar Al-Eryani, Yemen’s information minister, accused the Houthis of orchestrating the attack following a “vicious” media assault on the army chief.
Bin Aziz’s attempts to strengthen the Yemeni army, and establish peace and stability in the country, were behind the assassination attempt, he said.
“We call on the international community, the UN, the permanent members of the Security Council, and the UN and US envoys to issue a clear and frank condemnation of this terrorist crime, and all forms of Houthi escalation,” Al-Eryani said on X.
Shortly after the attack, the official news agency quoted a military source as saying that a “terrorist group” targeted the chief of staff’s convoy as it returned to his office in Marib from the neighboring Hadramout region of Al-Aber.
Bin Aziz visited Washington last month and met US military officials before traveling to Saudi Arabia to meet Saudi military leaders.
His most recent visit was to Yemen army bases in the province of Saada in the Houthi heartland.
Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Kumaim, who was traveling with the convoy when the attack took place, told Arab News that the blast was “very big,” and damaged vehicles and injured several soldiers.
Bin Aziz also survived a recent assassination attempt by the Houthis while visiting government naval forces along the Red Sea coast in the northern province of Hajjah.
After his visit to the US, the Houthis criticized the army chief and stepped up plans to kill him him, according to Al-Kumaim.
“They upped their instigation campaign and attacks on the chief of staff following a visit to the US, accusing him of arriving (from Washington) with a plan to exterminate them or wage war against them,” Al-Kumaim said.
Bin Aziz was born in Amran province in 1967. He has fought alongside the Yemeni government against the Houthis since 2004 and survived numerous attempts on his life by the militia.
He was appointed army chief of staff in February 2020, as the Houthis increased military operations across the country.