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Multiple bomb blasts rock Yemeni capital Sanaa

AFP I File picture of Sanaa's old town

At least four car bombs hit three mosques and the political headquarters of the Houthi movement in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, a security official said, killing and wounding dozens of people.

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According to AFP, a total of five blasts rocked the city, killing at least 23 people.

The blasts came as Saudi-led forces conducted more air strikes against Houthi military sites across Yemen and as delegates attending peace talks in Switzerland reported no progress on the second day of a UN-sponsored push for a Ramadan truce.

“Four car bombs targeted the political bureau of Ansarullah, the Hashush mosque in the Jiraf district, the Kibsi mosque in the Zira district and the Qubat al-Khadra mosque, causing the martyrdom and injury of dozens,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Earlier on Wednesday Houthi fighters in central Yemen blew up the home of a senior politician, Abdel-Aziz Jubari, while he was attending the Geneva talks as a member of the exiled government’s delegation.

Yemen’s Foreign Minister Reyad Yassin Abdulla told Reuters in Geneva that the peace talks had “made no progress”.

Residents of Dhamar city said the Houthis, who had taken over Jubari’s house in April, dynamited the building early in the morning. Yemeni websites published picture of its collapsed ceiling on top of a pile of rubble.

Jubari, who is deputy head of the delegation sent to Geneva by ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, said he was shocked when he heard the news.

“This is regrettable that people’s manners and behaviours can reach this point,” Jubari told Reuters in Geneva.

“Of course my house is not the only house in Yemen ... A lot of people’s homes and properties have been targeted in an unbelievable way.”

Abdulla, the head of the government delegation said: “It is in this spirit of revenge that they are dealing with all the Yemeni people and we cannot remain silent on this.”

Houthi officials were not immediately available for comment.

The Houthis seized the Yemeni capital Sanaa in September and pressed into the country’s centre and south, forcing Hadi and his government into exile in Riyadh.

They say they are campaigning against corruption and ending what they say is years of political marginalisation.

A coalition of Sunni Arab states headed by Saudi Arabia has been bombing the Houthis who hail from the Zaydi sect of Shiite Islam and their allies in Yemen’s army since March 26.

Their aim is to restore Hadi to power and head off what they see as Shiite Iran’s expansion in the region. The Houthis deny receiving military backing from Iran.

The latest air raids by the Saudi-led alliance focused on army bases in Sanaa and Houthi targets in Yemen’s central desert and the mountainous province of Mahweet, one of the last provinces in Yemen not to be bombed since the campaign began.

More than 2,600 civilians and combatants have been killed since March and a humanitarian crisis is looming as supplies of food, medicine and other goods run short.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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