January 10, 2019 / 8:38 AM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 2-Yemen's Houthi drones strike government military parade, several killed

(Adds source saying attack targeted podium)

ADEN, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Houthi drones on Thursday attacked a Yemeni government military parade in Lahaj province, killing several people, Saudi and Houthi media reported.

The parade was taking place inside a military base in al-Anad district when a loud explosion rocked the area, eyewitnesses said, adding high-ranked officials including Yemen’s deputy chief of staff were wounded in the attack.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said five were killed and several were injured. The Houthi’s Al-Masirah TV said the attack targeted “the leadership of the invaders.”

A military source said the attack targeted the podium where officials were sitting.

It was unclear if military officials were present from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two Gulf states leading a coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The Houthis said in November they were halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, but tensions have risen recently over how to implement a U.N.-sponsored peace deal.

The Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government agreed to a ceasefire in the strategic port city of Hodeidah and to withdraw forces at peace talks in Sweden in December following months of diplomacy and Western pressure to end the nearly four-year-old war that has killed tens of thousands of people.

But its implementation has stalled as the agreement did not spell out who would control Hodeidah city after the troop withdrawal. (Reporting By Mohammed Ghobari and Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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