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US drone strikes kill 4 in southern Yemen, gunmen kill 16

The file photo of a US done

At least four people are killed in a US drone strike in southern Yemen, while unknown gunmen kill at least 16 people, including four Indian nurses.

The unmanned aircraft on Friday targeted a vehicle in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa, killing four people.

Local officials and residents said that the drone strike targeted members of the al-Qaeda militant group.

Washington carries out drone attacks in Yemen and several other Muslim countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The US claims the drones target al-Qaeda militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the attacks.

US drone strikes in Yemen have continued alongside the Saudi military aggression against the Arab country.

Saudi Arabia has been bombing the country for about a year now. At least 8,300 people, among them 2,236 children, have been killed and over 16,000 others sustained injuries since the onset of the Saudi invasion.

Yemeni men inspect damaged vehicles following an airstrike by Saudi Arabia in the capital Sana’a, on February 27, 2016. © AFP

The Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has exploited the volatile atmosphere and the breakdown of security in Yemen since the beginning of the Saudi war to tighten its grip on parts of southeast Yemen.

The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, too, has gained ground in and around the main southern city of Aden.

Ansarullah fighters, along with allied army units, are fighting the Takfiri militants and countering the Saudi aggression against war-torn Yemen.

Gunmen kill 16 in Aden

Meanwhile, at least 16 people, including four Indian nurses, lost their lives when armed men opened fire at an elderly care home in Yemen’s main southern city of Aden on Friday.

Security officials said the gunmen stormed the care home in Sheikh Othman district, killing a guard and shooting randomly at residents.

An unnamed official said the assailants were “extremists” and blamed the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which has been gaining ground in Aden in recent months, for the attack.

UN urges civilian protection

The development comes as the United Nations relief chief on Thursday warned against the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen and urged warring sides to protect civilians.

United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien © AFP

“All parties in this conflict have an obligation under international humanitarian law to take every measure to ensure civilians and civilian objects are protected,” Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council by teleconference on Thursday.

O’Brien described as the “most pressing concern” protecting Yemeni civilians amid unabated Saudi airstrikes against the impoverished nation.

 “It is unacceptable that health facilities are being hit, and it is critical that the parties make guarantees that these locations will be protected,” he said.

O’Brien said since the start of the nearly one-year conflict in Yemen, some 2,000 Yemeni children have been killed or injured.

He further asked the international community to make effort to impress all parties in Yemen to facilitate humanitarian access to all parts of the country.

 “It is imperative that imports to Yemen and trading within Yemen be allowed to continue,” he said, calling on “all parties to ensure protection of civilian infrastructure, including shipping ports and associated equipment.”

The UN official said that Saudi attacks against civilian infrastructures in Yemen have led to a security situation across much of the country which is “rapidly deteriorating.”

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