Hana Lahoud died as a result of his injuries according to an ICRC statement (ICRC)

TAIZ, Yemen A gunman shot dead a Lebanese aid worker from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday near the city of Taiz, southern Yemen.

The incident took place early this morning when a team of aid workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was returning from Taiz city.

The ICRC confirmed to Middle East Eye that Hanna Lahoud, a Lebanese employee was killed, stating that they are trying to find out more about this incident. Yemeni officials also confirmed to Reuters the identity and nationality of the slain aid worker.

The aid worker was killed by multiple gunshots to the heart, according to a hospital source who spoke on condition of anonymity to AFP. A statement by the ICRC also confirmed that Lahoud had died as a result of his injuries.

"It was a mistake by the team to stop in al-Dhabab area where there are many militants and the team does not have guards"

Taiz Security offiicial

"The team stopped their car in the al-Dhabab area to buy local cheese, and then a gunman came towards the team by motorcycle and opened fire on the car killing the Lebanese employee Hanna Lahoud," a source in the Taiz Security office told MEE.

Al-Dhabab area is the southwestern entrance of Taiz city, which is under the control of the pro-government forces and assassinated near one of their checkpoints.

Lahoud, along with his team, was on his way to visit a prison when the ICRC vehicle was attacked by unknown armed gunmen in the outskirts of Taiz.

The killers fled the area and the pro-government forces did not arrest him yet but still searching for the gunmen.

"It was a mistake by the team to stop in al-Dhabab area where there are many militants and the team does not have guards. We are still chasing the killer, and definitely we will arrest him," the source added.

The ICRC confirmed the assassination of their employee, stating that they are trying to find out more about this tragic incident.

Im shocked, outraged and profoundly saddened by the killing of my colleague and friend Hanna Lahoud today in #Taiz#Yemen. We @ICRC condemn this senseless act in the strongest possible terms. My thoughts go out to Hannas wife and family in #Lebanon as well as our @ICRC_ye team.

— Robert Mardini (@RMardiniICRC) April 21, 2018

"One of our colleagues was killed by an armed man in Taiz city," Sanaa-based Red Cross official Adnan Hizam told AFP.

Gunmen opened fire on the Red Cross vehicle, killing a Lebanese member of the organisation. The shooting took place after the Red Cross vehicles stopped in al-Dhabab to buy supplies.

Most of Taiz is controlled by forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, while the Houthi rebels still hold many parts of the surrounding area.

This is the first time an aid worker has been killed in the war-torn city during the Yemeni civil war, sparking fears that other organisations will be afraid to send their employees to Taiz.

An AFP photographer in Taiz who visited the scene of the shooting said a gunman had opened fire on an ICRC vehicle in the Zabab district in the west of the city.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but pro-government forces responsible for the security of the area, are suspected of being involved in the incident, according to local sources.

"We know that there are some groups who try to create chaos in the city and exaggerate the suffering of Taiz residents, but the pro-government forces are responsible to find these groups and save this city," Ahmed Abdul Hamid, a local resident in Taiz in told MEE.

"We are in mourning for one of our colleagues who was shot dead in #Yemen this morning. We are trying to find out more about this tragic incident," ICRC Yemen tweeted.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the country in March 2015 to push back Houthi rebels who forced the government into exile.

The United Nations says the conflict has triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with over 22 million people dependent on aid and 8.4 million on the verge of famine.

Yemen is also struggling with cholera and diphtheria outbreaks.

AFP and Reuters contributed to this report.

Original Article


middle east eye


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