ADEN, Yemen (AP) — A rebel missile struck a military parade in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden as coordinated suicide bombings targeted a police station in another neighborhood of the city on Thursday, killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens, a security official and witnesses said.
The missile hit the neighborhood of Breiqa where a military parade was underway by forces loyal to the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2015 in support of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
Since the rebels seized the country’s capital, Sanaa, in 2014, the southern port city of Aden has served as the temporary seat of the government.
The parade was taking place in the pro-coalition al-Galaa camp, said the Yemeni official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. The official didn’t give a breakdown for the casualties at the parade.
The website of the Houthi rebels, Al-Masirah, quoted spokesman Brig. Gen. Yehia Sarea as saying that the rebels fired a medium-range ballistic missile at the parade, leaving scores of casualties, including military commanders.
A short while earlier, a car, a bus and three motorcycles laden with explosives targeted a police station during a morning lineup, said Abdel Dayem Ahmed, a senior police official. He said four suicide bombers were involved in the attack. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings.
Ahmed told The Associated Press that 11 were killed in the attack at the police station and that at least 29 were wounded.
Charred skeletons of the vehicles were seen at the scene, next to one-meter deep crater caused by the bombings. Doctors Without Borders tweeted that dozens were transferred to its surgical hospital in Aden where families of the victims had gathered.
Thursday’s attacks were the deadliest in Aden since November 2017, when a local affiliate of the Islamic State group targeted the city’s security headquarters, leaving 15 dead, mostly policemen.
The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by the Houthis, who drove out the internationally recognized government. Months later, in March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched its air campaign to prevent the rebels from overrunning the country’s south.
In the relentless campaign, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia and have targeted vessels in the Red Sea.
Al-Haj reported from Sanaa, Yemen.