Houthi sniper kills woman delivering aid in Taez

Reham Al Bader, a lawyer and rights activist, was shot dead along with a male colleague

Pro-government fighters react as they made advances on Houthi fighters in al-Selw district of Taiz, Yemen January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE

A Houthi sniper killed a woman activist and her male colleague in Taez province on Thursday while they were delivering aid to families in an area besieged by the rebels.

Reham Al Bader, 32, and Mo'amen Al Yaseri, 28, were shot in the Abar area east of Taez city, the provincial capital which has been surrounded by the Iran-backed rebels for three years.

Reham was a well known lawyer and human rights activist who was working for the Yemeni government's national committee monitoring rights violations by the Houthis, said Hayat Al Thubhani, a media activist in Taez.

She would also regularly take part in aid deliveries in besieged areas of the city, Al Thubhani told The National.

She said Reham was the only daughter of the family, which lost a son in fighting with rebels several months ago.

The killing triggered outrage among Yemenis on social media. One of Reham's friends, Afaq Al Haj Reham, posted photos of her mother weeping on hearing the news of her death.

Yemeni government forces last week launched an offensive on several fronts to clear the rebels from Taez, one of several ongoing campaigns across the country that are being carried out with support from the Saudi-led military coalition.

Coalition air strikes on Thursday targeted Houthi reinforcements sent from Ibb province to Al Garahi district of the port city of Hodeidah, where the rebels are suffering a major collapse, said Aseel Al Sakladi, media officer for the Yemeni army's Al Amalikah Brigade that is talking part in the battle.

The fighting in Al Garahi follows the capture of the neighbouring Haiys district earlier in the week, an important step towards recapturing Hodeidah port. The coalition accuses the Houthis of smuggling in weapons through the port and using it to launch attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

In northern Yemen, six high-ranking Houthi officers were reported killed in battles and coalition air strikes in the Taiba area of Jawf province, including Muhsin Muhammad Al Ghuraibi, a prominent commander in the rebel ranks.

The Al Arabiya channel said three officers were killed in air strikes —  Abu Mortada, the engineers battalion commander; Abu Ruhollah, commander of the Jawf battlefront; and Abu Jihad Al Hamzi, supervisor of preventive security.

The channel said the coalition launched multiple air strikes at armoured vehicles used by the Houthis during a battle which lasted for about five hours, killing 35 rebels.

The coalition said rebel rockets fired at the Saudi coastal city of Jizan on Thursday evening injured three children, a 2-year-old and two 5-year-olds.


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