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Yemen: 17 killed after Houthi rebels fire missile into Marib city

A US envoy to Yemen, on Saturday, accused the Houthis of failing to reach a ceasefire

Houthi gunmen Tribal gunmen brandish their weapons during a gathering to show support to the Houthis in Saada | AFP

Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile that killed at least 17 people in Marib, a city controlled by the government. According to Ali al-Ghulisi, the provincial governor’s press secretary, the missile hit a gas station in the Rawdha neighbourhood of the city. 

Tim Lenderking, a US envoy to Yemen accused the Iranian-backed rebels of failing to try to reach a much-needed ceasefire. At least five were killed in the attack that took place on Saturday. Shortly after, the government-run news agency SABA reported that the Houthis also fired an explosive-laden drone. The drone destroyed two ambulances that had rushed to transport the injured from the missile attack to hospitals.

Yemen's Information Minister Moammar al-Iryani called on the UN and the US to condemn the attack, saying it was akin to a war crime.

 There was no immediate comment from the Houthis.

The militant group has been trying to gain control of Marib since February—this would give them control over the northern part of Yemen. 

Yemen has been in a state of civil war, ever since 2014, when the Iranian-backed rebel group Houthis forced the internationally recognised government into exile after they swept across the north of the nation and took control of the capital, Sanaa. 

A year later, a Saudi-led coalition, backed by the US entered the war, siding the government. So far, over 130,000 people have been killed. 

An Omani delegation has arrived in Sanaa to negotiate talks with Houthi leaders to advance efforts for peace in the region. A Houthi official said that the Omani delegation would try to convince leaders of the militant group to return to the negotiating table in Muscat, Oman’s capital. 

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