Yemen conflict: Governor of Aden killed in Islamic State attack

The governor of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden has been killed in an explosion, officials say.

Jaafar Mohammed Saad and several aides died when their convoy was hit. Some sources say the blast was caused by a rocket propelled grenade.

Getty Images Aden Governor Jaafar Mohammed Saad (left|) was a close ally of Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi (right)











Islamic State militants later claimed the attack. The group has a presence in Yemen, amid an ongoing civil war.

Houthi rebels based in northern Yemen have seized much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

Earlier this year, Aden was recaptured by government troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

A pro-government Popular Committees checkpoint in Yemen's southern port city of Aden on 3 December 2015Image copyright Reuters Image caption Coalition forces backed by Saudi Arabia seized Aden from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in July


Maj-Gen Saad was reported by al-Araby to have been appointed Aden governor in October after playing a prominent role in recapturing the city from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in July.

The latest violence came after the UN envoy to Yemen met President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in Aden on Saturday, in an effort to bring eight months of civil war to an end.

Air strikes and fighting on the ground in Yemen have killed more than 5,700 people since the Saudi-led coalition began a campaign to restore the government in March, according to the UN.

The UN hopes to organise talks later this month between the government and the Houthi rebels, who support former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Both Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda have a presence in Yemen. IS declared its presence in November and have carried out a number of attacks since then.

Why is there fighting in Yemen?

A soldier loyal to Yemen's government stands atop a tank at an army position during fighting against Houthi rebels in an area between Yemen's northern provinces of al-Jawf and Marib (05 December 2015)Image copyright Reuters
  • Northern Shia Muslim rebels known as Houthis, backed by forces loyal to Yemen’s ex-president, took over parts of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa, and forced the government into exile in March
  • The rebels accused the government of corruption and of planning to marginalise their heartland within a proposed federal system
  • Forces loyal to the government and southern militias regained control of Aden in July, aided by Saudi-led coalition air strikes and troops
  • The UN says that fighting on the ground and air strikes in Yemen have killed more than 5,700 people since March

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