Sanaa, Yemen (Xinhua + DIPLOMAT.SO) – A bomb ripped through a crowded qat market in Yemen’s government-held city of Marib on Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding 20 others, a provincial official said.
The source said that the bomb was planted near the shops by unknown persons who apparently aimed to target loyalist soldiers buying qat at noon.
Qat is the leaves of a Yemeni shrub, which are chewed as a stimulant, and is mainstay of Yemenis social life.
Marib, 173 km east of the capital Sanaa, has been under control of Shiite Houthi rebels since 2014.
Houthis, on their media, blamed the blast on the “Saudi-led aggression’s mercenaries,” a reference to the Saudi-led military coalition-backed Yemeni government forces.
The latest violence comes as the gvernment and Houthi rebels have been in UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait since April in bids to end a 15-month civil war in Yemen that killed over 6,400 people, half of them civilians.
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