Yemeni defense minister survives explosion; 6 killed
Minister's convoy was targeted while inspecting fight front in Maarib province
Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Ali Al-Maqdashi survived a landmine explosion in eastern Yemen on Wednesday, according to a military source.
The blast struck the minister's convoy as he was inspecting a fight front in Serwah district in Maarib province, the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Six people accompanying the minister were killed in the attack.
The source suggested that the landmine could have been planted by Houthi rebels.
The Yemeni government has yet to issue an official statement on the attack.
There was no comment from the Houthi group on the report.
Yemen has endured years of tumult since the Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government from Sanaa toward the end of 2014, prompting military intervention in 2015 by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which sought to restore Hadi’s UN-recognized government.
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The conflict has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 100,000 people dead and 24 million civilians, or 80% of the population, needing handouts to survive. Aid groups aim to reach 15.6 million people this year, the UN says.