Middle East

Yemen crisis: UAE soldiers killed by blast at camp

Saudi-led coalition military personnel travel through Aden (3 August 2015) Image copyright EPA
Image caption The UAE is thought to have sent several thousand troops to Yemen to battle Houthi rebels

Forty-five soldiers from the United Arab Emirates have been killed in Yemen while fighting Houthi rebels as part of a Saudi-led coalition, the UAE says.

Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said they had died when a rebel missile struck an ammunition depot.

On his official Twitter feed, he said the "cowardly attack will not deter us".

Separately, Bahrain said five of its soldiers were killed while protecting Saudi Arabia's frontier with Yemen.

It did not say how the troops had died, but some reports say they were killed in the same explosion.

The UN says some 4,500 people - including at least 2,110 civilians - have been killed in fighting on the ground and by coalition air strikes since late March.

The UAE is thought to have sent several thousand troops to Yemen in an effort to restore the country's exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

They helped southern militiamen opposed to the Houthis retake the southern port city of Aden in July and have since advanced northwards.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Leading tribes in Yemen's Marib province are backing the Saudi-led coalition military campaign

Why is there fighting in Yemen?

  • Northern Shia Muslim rebels known as Houthis, backed by forces loyal to Yemen's ex-president, took over parts of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa, and forced the government into exile in March
  • The rebels accused the government of corruption and of planning to marginalise their heartland within a proposed federal system
  • Forces loyal to the government and southern militias are fighting back, aided by air strikes led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia

Yemen's humanitarian catastrophe

Who is fighting whom?

Meeting the Houthis and their enemies