Deadly Yemen car bomb 'intended for civilians'

Five killed when explosive-laden vehicle detonated near Aden International Airport

A terrorist explosion in Aden which killed five people, including a child, was intended for civilians, Yemen’s Supreme Security Committee has said.

Forty people were injured when an explosive-laden car detonated near the main gate of Aden International Airport on Saturday.

The committee, chaired by Aden governor Ahmed Lamlas, issued a statement late on Saturday night vowing to bring those responsible to justice.

"We assure all residents in Aden that all the state institutions are fully operating, including the airport, and we call upon them to practise their daily life normally,” the committee said.

The Office of Public Health in Aden confirmed the death toll.

“The airport is operating in full capacity and flights are going on according to the schedule,” Basam Al Muflehi, a Ministry of Transportation representative, told The National.

Earlier on Saturday night, Capt Mutalq Al Daghfali, liaison officer at Aden airport, told The National that no airport security staff were killed in the explosion.

Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed instructed the security committee to carry out a swift probe into the circumstances of the attack and tighten security to “foil any harm targeting Aden's security and stability”, state-owned Saba news reported on Sunday.

The attack was condemned by Dr Nayef Al Hajraf, Secretary General of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), Saudi state media reported.

Dr Al Hajraf said the GCC rejects terrorist acts as “incompatible with all religious principles and moral and humanitarian values” and offered condolences to the families of the victims.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, which was Yemen's deadliest terrorist attack since December 2020, when an explosion ripped through Aden's airport as members of the government arrived, killing 22 people and wounding more than 50.

'I was working on my computer when the blast went off'

Saturday's blast caused severe damage to buildings on the street near the airport.

Offices, hotels, grocery stores, internet cafes, pharmacies and homes were left badly damaged.

"The explosion was tremendous," said Nafea Ahmed, who lives on the street.

"I was working on my computer when the blast went off. At first I thought a rocket had hit the roof of our house because the windows and the decorations were smashed to pieces," he told The National.

"It was much stronger than the explosions that rocked the airport in December last year when the government arrived from Saudi Arabia – our house wasn't damaged that much in the December missile attack."

The EU's mission to Yemen condemned the attack.

"We are shocked and saddened by the continued senseless loss of life," it said on Saturday.

"The EU extends its condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a speedy recovery. Implementing Riyadh Agreement is a top priority."

Updated: November 1st 2021, 1:01 PM
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