An attack on a hotel in Aden, the southern city, killed three people and wounded eight on Thursday. Among the fatalities was a pregnant journalist. The attack was carried out by gunmen in civilian clothes who entered the park where hotel employees were waiting to collect their pay, according to witnesses and Naseem Shary, a representative of the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate.
Shary was sitting just outside the park when the attack occurred. “Suddenly, I heard very loud noises, and I saw a car explode,” he told CNN. “One of the armored cars in the parking lot came under fire from the hotel lobby.”
The journalist who was killed was the wife of an employee at the hotel. The two others killed in the attack, a father and his son, were believed to be security guards of the hotel. Shary identified them as Saleh Ahmed al-Qadi and Jalal Mohammed al-Qadi. The father was also a reporter, while his son was also an employee at the hotel.
Mohammed al-Eqzaoud, an editor at al-Bashir newspaper, also said the attack seemed like a targeted one. “It is an obvious deliberate targeting of journalists at the hotel,” he told CNN.
Yemen has been battered by a civil war that began in 2015. The war, which pitted Iran-allied Houthi rebels against Saudi Arabia and its allies, has forced millions of people to flee, and killed thousands. The United Nations warns that millions of people in Yemen are facing famine and the agency fears more than 8 million will fall into humanitarian crisis by the end of the year. Some 1.5 million have been displaced within the country, in addition to more than 8 million who have fled to neighboring countries and more than 400,000 who have crossed the Gulf of Aden. The non-governmental group Save the Children warned earlier this month that up to 43,000 children are at risk of death or permanent damage because of the conflict.
Last week, an airstrike by the United Arab Emirates killed at least 30 people in a wedding in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The coalition has claimed that the missile that it launched was shot down by a U.S. aircraft. On Wednesday, the two countries also announced the launch of a missile interception system called “Iron Dome” to protect the UAE from targeted attacks by Iran.