Middle East

Yemen: Houthis blamed for attack on military parade

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Media captionAftermath of the attack

A missile strike that targeted a military parade in southern Yemen has killed at least five people.

The attack came at the end of a graduation ceremony for recruits to the Security Belt forces - a powerful organisation backed by the United Arab Emirates - in the town of al-Dhalea.

Security Belt are part of the coalition that has fought with Yemen's government against the Houthi rebels.

Officials have blamed the Houthis for the attack on the parade.

The rebels have not yet commented on the reports but they were behind a very similar attack on a Security Belt forces graduation parade last August, which killed more than thirty people.

Nine others were injured in the latest blast when the missile hit a viewing stand during the march.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Newly recruited soldiers just before the attack

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in March 2015, when Houthi rebels seized control of much of the west of the country and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee abroad.

Alarmed by the rise of a group they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shia Muslim power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Muslim Arab states began an air campaign aimed at restoring Mr Hadi's government.

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Media captionThe conflict in Yemen has been raging for years - but what is it all about?

The coalition received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK and France.

Estimates of those killed range from 10,000 to more than 70,000, the vast majority being Yemenis and an estimated two-thirds of those from Saudi-led air strikes.

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Media captionThe hidden victims of the Yemen war

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