World Food Programme mourns worker killed in Yemen's Taiz

Attack comes during period of relative calm in more than eight years of fighting

The Jordanian citizen died shortly after being transferred to hospital following the attack. EPA
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A UN worker was killed in an attack in Yemen's Taiz region on Friday, the World Food Programme said.

Moayad Hameidi, a Jordanian citizen, “died shortly after being transferred to hospital”, the WFP said in a statement.

Local governor Nabil Shamsan informed the Presidential Leadership Council of the killing and said a suspect had been identified, Yemen's state news agency Saba Net reported.

Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al Alimi ordered the pursuit of the “criminal elements involved in carrying out the armed attack that resulted in the death of a UN employee and the wounding of others in the city of Turbah”, the news service said.

Health Minister Qasem Buhaibeh called for security forces to “arrest the criminals” responsible for the killing.

The WFP said Mr Hameidi had only recently arrived in the country to begin a role as the head of its office in Taiz.

He had worked for the organisation for 18 years in nations including Sudan, Syria and Iraq.

“The loss of our colleague is a profound tragedy for our organisation and the humanitarian community,” said Richard Ragan, WFP representative and country director in Yemen.

“Any loss of life in humanitarian service is an unacceptable tragedy.”

Fighting between a Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's internationally recognised government and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels has eased over the past year, although sporadic attacks continue.

Yemen's conflict broke out in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed directly and indirectly in more than eight years of fighting, resulting in one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

The war has displaced 4.5 million Yemenis internally and pushed more than two thirds of the population into poverty.

Updated: July 21, 2023, 5:53 PM