At least 22 dead as Houthis shell Yemen’s Aden

Houthis reportedly ‘randomly shelled... civilian homes’ in the Mualla and Crater districts of Aden

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Tank and mortar shelling by Yemen’s Houthi rebels against the city of Aden claimed the lives of at least 22 people on Wednesday, medical sources quoted by Agence France-Presse have said.

“Twenty-two dead and more than 70 wounded have been transferred to several hospitals in Aden,” a medical official told AFP, adding that most of the casualties were civilians.

A local official told AFP that rebel forces “randomly shelled... civilian homes” in the Mualla and Crater districts of Aden.

The casualties report comes as Houthi forces fight battles street-by-street with local militia in central Aden.

Residents saw a dozen bodies strewn on the streets and said several buildings were burnt or demolished by rocket fire. Mosques broadcast appeals for jihad against the Houthis, Iran-allied fighters who have taken over large areas of Yemen.

By mid-afternoon residents of the central Crater neighborhood said the Houthi push, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, had been at least partially repelled, and that Houthi fighters had been cleared from some northern neighborhoods.

Iran, which denies arming the Houthis, has condemned the Saudi-led offensive. It sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, saying they would protect Iranian shipping.

Aden has been the target of a three-week-old assault by Houthi militants, who control the capital Sanaa. Their assault prompted Saudi Arabia and its allies to launch air strikes against them.

The fighting has had a devastating impact on parts of Aden. Scores of people have been killed, water and electricity have been cut off in central neighborhoods, and hospitals have struggled to cope with the casualties.

(with Reuters and AFP)

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