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Yemeni government says Houthi missile attack killed 17 civilians in Marib

Rebel missile strikes petrol station, causing huge fire

Yemeni government says Houthi missile attack killed 17 civilians in Marib FILE PHOTO

SANAA, Yemen

At least 17 people, including a minor, were killed in a Houthi missile attack in the central Yemeni city of Marib, the government said on Sunday.

Yemeni authorities said the ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels struck a petrol station in the Rawdha neighborhood on Saturday, causing a huge fire.

“The Houthi attack has killed 17 civilians, including a five-year-old girl, and injured five people,” Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani said in a statement cited by the official news agency Saba.

“This heinous terrorist crime is an extension of the Houthi militia's continuous and deliberate targeting of residential neighborhoods and civilian facilities in Marib,” Al-Eryani said.

Medical sources had earlier put the death toll at 14 from the rebel attack.

There has been no comment from the Houthi group on the report.

The rebels and government forces share control of the Marib province.

Since February, the Iranian-backed rebels have engaged government forces in fierce battles to take control of Marib, the government’s most important stronghold where the Defense Ministry iis headquartered. The area is also rich in oil and gas.

Yemen has been ravaged by violence and instability since 2014, when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital city of Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with 30 million people accounting for 80% of the population needing humanitarian assistance and protection.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the conflict has claimed more than 233,000 lives.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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