Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi appoints new intelligence chief

The previous head of the Yemeni spy service was killed during a Houthi drone attack in Al Anad

Soldiers inspect the scene of a Houthi drone attack at Yemeni government military parade in al-Anad air base, Lahaj province, Yemen January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE
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Yemen President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi has appointed Major General Ahmed Al Yafee as the new head of intelligence, state news agency Saba reported.

Mr Al Yafee was chosen to replace Maj Gen Mohammed Tammah who died of injuries sustained in a Houthi drone attack earlier this month.

Gen Tammah was among several senior army commanders who were wounded in the strike on Al Anad air base in the southern province of Lahj during a military parade.

Five Yemeni soldiers were also killed.

The attack came less than a month after the government and rebels reached a truce deal on Hodeidah, Yemen's key port city, during the United Nations peace talks in Sweden.

It follows various reports of Houthi violations of the ceasefire since it went into effect on December 18. Meanwhile, the UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths also extend the deadline on Monday to implement the Sweden deal.

Mr Hadi's decree served as promotion for Al Yafee, who was director of the Military Intelligence Service and part of the army for more than four decades.

Members of Yemen’s National Defence Forces expect Maj Gen Al Yafee to play a key role in the country’s security and military fields.

The development comes as the UN condemned the shelling of a camp for displaced people in Yemen's northwestern Hajjah province that killed eight civilians and wounded 30 others.

“This is shocking,” Lise Grande, the UN's humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, said. “We share our deep condolences with all of the families who have been impacted by this senseless attack.”

Ms Grande urged Yemen's warring sides to "do everything possible to protect civilians".

"The people who have fled their homes to IDP [internally displaced person] sites have lost so much already. An attack like this cannot be justified, ever," she said.

She did not identify the source of the shelling, which took place on Saturday in the province's Haradh district. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

The UN said an attack earlier in January near the same camp killed six children and two women.

Yemen's war has pushed 14 million to the brink of famine in what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.