ADEN: A hotel in Yemen’s second city of Aden where Prime Minister Khaled Bahah was staying with members of the Saudi installed government was on fire on Tuesday after being hit by a barrage of rockets, reports from the area said.
People had been left “dead and wounded” by the attack, a local official said on condition of anonymity, without saying if that included any members of government.
But 15 members of the Saudi-led coalition were killed in the assault, according to the United Arab Emirates.
UAEs official news agency quoted unnamed informed sources and witnesses for the death toll and blamed Houthi fighters and their allies.
Bahah and his ministers have been installed in Aden — declared Yemen’s provisional capital after it was taken back from Iran allied fighters in mid-July — after spending six months in exile in Saudi Arabia.
Video footage posted on Twitter purporting to capture the incident showed a large sheet of flame enveloping the front of the al-Qasr hotel, followed by an expanding plume of dark smoke.
“There was a fire for two hours,” Mohammed al-Saadi, a southern politician who arrived at the hotel about two hours after it was attacked, told Reuters. “The soldiers at the door died in the attack, but I don’t know how many there were.
Yemeni Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and “many ministers were sleeping in the hotel,” Saadi said.
“They and all the government workers have now been moved to a secret place.” President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was believed to be in Saudi Arabia.
Government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Reuters the cause of the explosions at the hotel were “rockets”.
One missile apparently was fired at the gate of the hotel, residents said. A second missile landed nearby and a third hit a compound in Aden’s Buraiqah district where Gulf Arab troops are housed, they said.
The al-Qasr hotel has been the base of Hadi’s government since its gradual return from exile in Riyadh over recent weeks, after Houthi fighters were expelled in July.
The hotel has been guarded by troops from the United Arab Emirates, one of the members of a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting since March to restore Hadi to power in the capital, Sanaa.
Airstrikes and ground fighting have killed over 4,500 people in Yemen, mostly civilians, since Saudi led Gulf states launched a military campaign in support of Hadi on March 26. U.N.-backed efforts for a compromise have come to nothing.
The Houthis dominated Ansarullah movement has condemned the coalition for alleged war crimes. They say their seizure of Sanaa in September and their spread throughout the country was part of a revolution against a corrupt Yemeni government beholden to Gulf monarchies and what they see as the imperialist West. Agencies
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