Aden: Three Southern Transitional Council (STC) fighters were killed Friday in a suicide bombing in Aden, the first such attack since Yemeni government forces were expelled from the southern city on August 10, security sources said.
In a separate attack, the military head of the STC-aligned Security Belt force survived a roadside bomb attack on his convoy in central Aden that killed five of his guards, the sources said.
Earlier, “a suicide bomber crashed his bomb-laden motorbike into a vehicle of the Southern Transitional Council on a roundabout in the Sheikh Saad district” of northern Aden, one of the sources told AFP.
Three of those on board the vehicle were killed and an unknown number wounded, including civilians near a busy marketplace.
A security official blamed the suicide bombing, for which there was no immediate claim of responsibility, on Al Qaida.
The Security Belt force, dominated by the Southern Transitional Council, recaptured Aden, Yemen’s capital, on Thursday after clashes with government forces.
On August 1 separate attacks by terrorists and Al Houthi rebels killed 49 STC fighters and the separatists accused the government of complicity.
On Thursday, UAE forces carried out strikes agains Al Qaida in Aden.
“In response to the Yemeni Foreign Ministry’s statement, the UAE affirms its right of self-defence against all threats targeting the Arab Coalition forces,” the foreign ministry said.
“The recent aggravation in offensives against the Arab Coalition forces and civilians pose a menacing threat to the security of the coalition. This in turn has necessitated precise and direct air strikes on the 28th and 29th August, 2019 against terrorist militias as per the rules of engagement of the Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law.
“The military operation against the terrorist militias was based on confirmed field intelligence that the militias prepared to target the coalition forces - a development which required a preemptive operation to avert any military threat.
“The strikes against the Arab Coalition were launched by armed groups affiliated with terrorist organisations. These armed groups attacked the Arab Coalition at Aden Airport, causing two injuries to the coalition forces.
Sweden’s FM to tour Mideast to relaunch Yemen talks
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom is heading to the Middle East in an attempt to relaunch talks between Yemen’s internationally-recognised government and the country’s Iran-backed Al Houthi rebels.
Wallstrom told Swedish Radio on Friday that she wants to “speak with as many people as possible,” adding she will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan, and plan to meet officials from the United Nations.
In December, both sides signed a UN-brokered peace deal in Stockholm, Sweden under mounting international pressure. However, violence in Yemen has continued unabated since then.
Wallstrom on Friday called that deal “fragile.”
She added: “I believe we have a great deal of trust with the parties and we believe that it is our responsibility to try to ensure that this agreement is implemented.”