IN this Feb 2 photo, a soldier allied to Yemen’s internationally recognised government adjusts his machine-gun in an area on the outskirts of Sanaa.—AP
IN this Feb 2 photo, a soldier allied to Yemen’s internationally recognised government adjusts his machine-gun in an area on the outskirts of Sanaa.—AP

SANAA: An air raid hit the police criminal investigations unit in Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa on Sunday as insurgents battled the government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, for control of the country.

The four-storey building and a line of police cars parked outside were largely destroyed in the attack.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels blamed the attack on the Saudi-led military coalition that has been fighting to prop up the Yemeni government since March 2015.

Rebel-run Yemeni media said seven people were killed and 58 wounded in the Sunday attack. The toll could not be independently confirmed.

A spokesman for the coalition did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The coalition is the only party known to regularly conduct air raids on Sanaa.

The Houthis, who hail from northern Yemen, in December claimed full control of Sanaa, three years after they forged an agreement with strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh to jointly rule the capital.

Saleh was killed in the December Houthi takeover after their alliance fell apart.

In November, a rival criminal investigations unit in the government stronghold of Aden was struck in a suicide attack.

Gunmen stormed the crime unit and set files and archives on fire as a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt at the entrance.

More than 9,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen war, according to the World Health Organisation, triggering what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2018

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