Aden: A bomb explosion on Wednesday in an open market in Yemen’s oasis city of Marib killed seven people and wounded 18, security and medical sources said.

The blast targeted a market selling qat, the mild narcotic leaf popular in the Arabian Peninsula country, a security official in Marib said.

A medical source at the city’s public hospital confirmed the toll.

Forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi control Marib, which is east of Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa.

The province of Marib has seen fierce battles between Yemeni forces and Iran-backed Al Houthi militants and their allies, who continue to control northern parts of the governorate.

A Saudi-led coalition which intervened in March last year against Al Houthis has forces based in Marib province to support the internationally-recognised government forces.

More than 6,400 Yemenis, most of them civilians, have been killed since last March, and the fighting has driven 2.8 million people from their homes.