A pregnant journalist working for the private Al Maraih channel in war-torn Yemen has been killed in a car bomb attack, officials have said.
Mahdi Atef, 31, and his wife were killed when a parked car detonated outside their home, ending her pregnancy, the country’s interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
Yemeni media have accused the Iran-backed armed Houthi movement of carrying out the attack on Atef, who wrote for the privately-owned television channel.
Sanaa is a stronghold of the Houthis, who have claimed responsibility for scores of attacks that have hit homes, security headquarters and Houthi checkpoints across the country since the Arab spring protests four years ago.
In April, Aden, the temporary headquarters of Yemen’s exiled government, was hit by a car bomb.
Yemen’s four-year war has brought the country to the brink of famine. It has seen the kingdom witness one of the worst cholera epidemics in modern history. It is also accused of backing Islamic extremists in the north and south of the country, where al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is resurgent.
The Houthis, who control most of the north and north-west, are allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Their advance towards Aden last year caused huge divisions within the Saudi-led coalition, which now controls the south.
Yemen is now in the throes of what the UN has called a humanitarian catastrophe. An estimated 22 million Yemenis – roughly half the population – are struggling to survive, and the country imports more than 90% of its food supplies.
Citing UN figures, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said that Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
The conflict has taken an economic toll, with Yemen suffering from cholera and hunger. People queue for hours in long lines for food staples, and the cost of living has increased drastically.