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Blackwater commander in Yemen killed in missile attack

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters patrol the streets chanting slogans during a tribal gathering in Sana’a, December 14, 2015. ©AP

The commander of the infamous US security firm, formerly known as Blackwater, in Yemen and dozens of Riyadh’s mercenaries were killed Saturday in a missile attack by Yemeni forces in Lahij Province.

The Yemeni military backed by fighters of the Houthi Ansarullah movement launched a Tochka ballistic missile on the al-Anad military base in the southern Yemeni province.

Colonel Nicholas Petros was killed along with a group of mercenaries fighting for the Saudi regime in its war on Yemen.

Lebanon's al-Ahed news website reported that Apache helicopters, Typhoon fighter jets and armories belonging to the mercenaries were destroyed in the missile strike.

A spokesman for anti-Ansarullah militants loyal to Yemen’s former fugitive president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, claimed the missile had been intercepted and did not hit the target.

Blackwater has had to change its name several times due to its ill fame around the world. It is now known as the Academi. The company, which went by the alias Xe Services before its current name, is one of the most notorious private security firms in the world for killing scores of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

People inspect a house destroyed by a Saudi airstrike in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, January 25, 2016. ©AP 

In a separate development, Saudi warplanes bombarded residential areas in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. Three women and three children were killed.

Saudi Arabia began its deadly campaign against Yemen in late March 2015. The strikes have been meant to undermine Ansarullah and restore power to Hadi.

About 8,300 people have been killed and over 16,000 injured since Riyadh launched the airstrikes. The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s facilities and infrastructure.

Yemeni forces have been engaged in retaliatory attacks against the Saudi forces deployed in the country as well as targets inside Saudi Arabia.

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