Mine blast injures Yemeni army chief-of-staff


ADEN: The chief of staff of the Yemeni army has been injured by a land mine that went off while he was visiting the northern Al-Jouf province, where heavy fighting between government forces and Houthi fighters is underway, a senior government official said.

The official said Brig. Gen. Taher Al-Aqeeli suffered minor injuries in the explosion, which happened on Friday while he was inspecting government positions in Khub wa Al-Sha’af, the largest district in Al-Jouf province.

Forces loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government captured most of the district in heavy fighting with the Houthis last month.

Anti-Houthi forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have intensified an offensive against the Iran-aligned group that controls most of northern Yemen since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed after he switched sides in Yemen’s nearly three-year-old civil war.

The Houthis, who killed Saleh after they surrounded his compound in Sanaa, accused the former president of trying to sow sedition in the country. Saleh’s General People’s Congress party accused the Houthis of trying to monopolize running the country.

The Houthis said Al-Aqeeli and several of his aides were injured in the blast, describing Aqeeli’s injuries as serious.

Hadi appointed Al-Aqeeli last September, replacing Major General Mohammed Al-Maqdeshi, who was appointed as a presidential adviser.

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