Yemen official: Rebel missiles hit key city, kill 2 children

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s rebels fired three ballistic missiles Sunday at a government-held central city, killing two children and wounding more than 30 people, officials said.

The attack was the latest by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on Marib, as they have for months been trying to retake the energy-rich city from the internationally recognized government of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The missiles landed in the residential Rawdha neighborhood, according to Ali al-Ghulisi, the provincial governor’s press secretary.

He said dead include Ghozlan Feisal, 4, and her Radad, 2. At least 32 others were wounded, including five children and four women, he said. Among the wounded were a mother and her seven-month-old child, both were in serious condition, al-Ghulisi said.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis on the attack.

The missiles destroyed two houses, damaged 10 others in the neighborhood and burned eight vehicles, he said.

Qasem Buhaibeh, the health minister of the internationally recognized government, said in a tweet that the attack was part of Houthi’s “continuous war crimes with silent world.”

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been attempting since February to capture Marib from the internationally recognized government, which would complete their control over the northern part of Yemen.

However, they have not made substantial progress and have suffered heavy losses amid stiff resistance from government forces aided by the Saudi-led coalition supporting them. Fighting has escalated in recent weeks, killing more than 130 fighters, mostly Houthis.

The rebels have fired ballistic missiles and sent drones into Marib, often hitting civilian areas and camps for displaced people. In June, they hit a gas station in the same Rawdha neighborhood a missile and explosive-laden drones, killing at least 21 people, including a father and his 2-year-old daughter.

At the time of June attack, the rebels said they targeted military camps in the city, though they did not provide evidence to support their claim.