Qatar announces first casualty in Yemen conflict

Qatari foreign minister announces death of soldier fighting with Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.

    Qatar sent 1,000 troops to Yemen in September as part of the Saudi-led coalition's fight against Houthi rebels [File: Getty Images]
    Qatar sent 1,000 troops to Yemen in September as part of the Saudi-led coalition's fight against Houthi rebels [File: Getty Images]

    A Qatari soldier fighting with the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen has been killed, officials in the country have said.

    The death of the soldier, the country's first reported casualty in the conflict, was announced by Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah on Twitter on Wednesday.

    No further details were provided about the circumstances of his death.

    State-run media identified the soldier as Mohammed Hamid Suleiman.

    "Qatar armed forces announced the death of Mohammed Hamid Suleiman ... on duty with the Arab coalition forces participating in the operation of restoring hope in the Republic of Yemen," reported the Qatar News Agency.

    Qatar deployed 1,000 troops in Yemen in September as part of the Arab coalition's fight against Houthi rebels.

    The country's air force has taken part in the aerial campaign which began in March this year after advances by the rebels, including the capture of the capital Sanaa, forced Yemen's president to flee to Riyadh.

    Peace talks

    Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir expressed his support on Wednesday for peace talks on Yemen's conflict which the UN said will take place in November in Geneva.

    "We hope they will be successful," Jubeir told reporters after a summit of Arab and South American countries in Riyadh.

    "We support these negotiations and hope they will achieve peace, security and stability in Yemen."

    Addressing the summit late on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that his special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, "intends to convene a new round of peace consultations in Switzerland ... this month".

    He did not give a specific date but said both the Yemeni government and the Houthis have committed to attend.

    "It is critical that all sides lend their political support and engage in good faith," Ban said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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