Missile strike on mosque near Marib kills more than 20, Yemeni officials say


At least 22 people were killed in a Houthi rebel missile strike on a mosque south of the strategic Yemeni town of Marib, officials said on Monday.

“Twenty-two people, including children, were killed and 19 others were injured in a Huthi missile attack on a mosque (…) in the district of Al-Jawba” on Sunday evening, told the AFP a pro-government military official.

The official, who requested anonymity, said the mosque also had a religious school.

Yemeni Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani said on Twitter that 29 people, including women and children, were killed in the attack.

“This horrific massacre is one in a series of systematic killings of civilians by the Huthi terrorist militia,” he wrote in English.

The Houthis have yet to comment on the attack, which comes as fighting between Iranian-backed rebels and government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition escalates.

Children were among 13 people killed on Thursday when a rebel missile hit the home of a tribal leader in Al-Jawba, military and medical officials said.

Marib, capital of the oil province of the same name, is the last internationally recognized government stronghold in northern Yemen.

The Huthis began a big push to capture the city in February and, after a lull, have renewed their offensive in recent weeks.

They claimed this week that they had reached the outskirts of the town of Marib and had almost surrounded it.

The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out a campaign of aerial bombardments since October 11 to prevent the rebels from reaching the town of Marib.

Since then, more than 2,200 Houthi fighters have been killed in Al-Jawba and two other districts, according to the coalition.

Rebels rarely comment on the losses, and AFP has been unable to independently verify the toll.

The civil war in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis took Sana’a, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to support the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.



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