A Yemeni journalist and her child have been killed in a car bombing that targeted her family’s vehicle in Yemen’s southern city of Aden, officials said. The blast was the latest to rock the seat of the internationally recognised government.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place on Tuesday, and authorities said an investigation was ongoing.
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Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed called the explosion a “terrorist attack” caused by an improvised explosive device stuck in Rasha Abdullah al-Harazi’s vehicle.
The explosion took place in Aden’s neighbourhood of Khormaksar when al-Harazi and her family were heading to a doctor, officials said.
Al-Harazi, who works for the United Arab Emirates-based Asharq satellite television channel, was pregnant.
Al-Harazi and her child Jawad died at the scene, while her husband, Mahmoud al-Atmi, also a journalist, was seriously wounded and hospitalised in a critical condition, officials said. Three passersby were also wounded, they added.
The coastal city of Aden has been rocked by several explosions in recent years that were blamed on local affiliates of armed groups al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have also targeted the city with ballistic missiles and explosives-laden drones.
Last month, at least eight people were killed in a car bomb blast close to a security checkpoint outside Aden’s international airport in Khormaksar. No group claimed responsibility for that attack.
Aden has been the seat of the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi since the Houthis took over the capital city of Sanaa in 2014, triggering Yemen’s civil war.
The Saudi Arabia-led coalition entered the war in March 2015, backed by the United States, to try to restore the government to power. Despite a relentless air campaign and ground fighting, the war has fallen largely into a deadlock and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
“Journalists in Yemen pay a heavy price for their work, and are targeted by all parties to the conflict,” the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) said in a statement on Thursday.
“They face numerous kinds of harassment, threats and intimidation to prevent them from carrying out their journalistic work, the latest of which is the use of explosive devices to kill them,” the statement added.
“GCHR condemns the brutal targeting of innocent journalists, and shares grief and sorrow with their family, friends and colleagues,” it added, calling on the local authorities in Aden to carry out a “comprehensive and independent investigation” into the killing of al-Harazi.
The EU 🇪🇺 condemns the attack against journalists Rasha al-Harazi and her husband Mahmoud al-Otmi in #Aden, which killed pregnant al-Harazi and seriously injured al-Otmi. Perpetrators must be brought to justice. Rights violations against journalists affect freedom of expression. pic.twitter.com/eycJrndK1c
— EUinYemen (@EUinYemen) November 10, 2021
The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate condemned the incident in a statement, describing it as “a horrific and unprecedented crime that targeted unarmed journalists while they were on their way to the hospital”.
The syndicate also said it feared the incident was an “indicator of a new and violent phase targeting journalists in Yemen”.