Senior Houthi official assassinated in Yemen's capital

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-28 03:10:20|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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SANAA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- A senior Houthi official was assassinated on Saturday in a drive-by shooting in the center of Yemen's capital Sanaa , witnesses and a police officer told Xinhua.

"Raji Hameed al Deen, chief of Houthi-owned Iqraa University, was shot dead by four bullets from an AK-47," the police officer said on condition of anonymity.

The attackers riding a motorcycle fled the scene, he added.

Witnesses said the Houthi official was killed while he was standing next to his car.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

It is the first assassination against top leaders of the dominant Iranian-aligned Shiite Houthi group since it took control of the capital nearly three years ago.

The Houthis advanced to Sanaa in September 2014, taking it over along with other northern provinces and forcing internationally-recognized government of Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.

On March 26, 2015, the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabia, leading a military coalition of 10 Arab countries, intervened in the Yemeni conflict to roll back the Houthis' gains and reinstate President Hadi to Sanaa.

The ongoing civil war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and displayed around 3 million others, according to UN aid agencies.

The conflict has also triggered the world's most humanitarian crisis and pushed the poor Arab country into the brink of mass famine.