Politics, World, Middle East

Yemen's Aden sees more bloodshed in January

Yemen has remained in turmoil since September 2014, when the Shiite Houthi group overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country

Yemen's Aden sees more bloodshed in January


By Shukry Hussein

ADEN, Yemen

The northern city of Aden, which houses the headquarters of Yemen's internationally recognized government, was rocked by a spate of suicide bombings and assassinations in January, making it one of the deadliest months in the seaport city's history.

"Bombings and assassinations in Aden and other liberated areas are part of an ongoing dirty war," Yemeni lawmaker Aydarus al-Naqib told Anadolu Agency.

Last week, seven people were killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a police checkpoint in Aden.

The attack came a few days after another suicide attack killed at least eight people, including soldiers and civilians, outside the presidential palace in Aden.

Last month also saw a spate of targeted assassinations of several government officials, police officers and religious leaders.

Naqib, the head of the parliamentary bloc of the Yemeni Socialist Party, believes that such attacks are aimed at sparking fear and panic in Aden and other government-ruled areas.

"It's also an attempt to prove that officials in liberated areas are not fit enough to provide security or services and are unable to keep the people safe," he said. "This all is meant to elicit desperation among the people and make them crave for the old days of the former regime."

Yemen has remained in turmoil since September 2014, when the Shiite Houthi group and allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains in Yemen and restoring Hadi’s government.

Hadi has since returned to Aden, which currently serves as the temporary seat of his government.

 Urgent measures

Local councilor Abdel-Maguid al-Salahi criticized the government for failing to prevent attacks in areas under its control.

"The government has to be more serious in dealing with the [security] file," Salahi told Anadolu Agency.

He said the failure to maintain security will encourage militant groups to carry out more attacks.

"The government has to take certain measures with a view to preventing [militant] groups from expanding further," he said.

Salahi listed the installation of CCTV cameras and conducting strict searching operations as among the measures that the government should take to prevent further attacks.

"The government also has to create anti-terror forces, in coordination of coalition forces, and to deploy trained forces across Aden [to prevent further attacks]," he said.

According to the UN, more than 5,800 people have been killed in Yemen, about half of them civilians, since the Saudi-led coalition forces launched its air campaign.

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