Shi’ite Muslims leaving the religious school for holy pilgrimage make their way into the port city of Hudaydah on October 18, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / AHMED JASSAMA)
Twenty-nine civilians have been killed and dozens injured in an attack on a mosque and a school that houses a local religious institution in Yemen’s rebel-held Aden.
The attack is being described as an act of terrorism by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. It occurred as worshippers prayed inside the mosque on Sunday night. The armed group has previously warned Yemenis to refrain from attending mosques and religious institutions – a warning that has been met with some skepticism. Despite the warnings, thousands of worshipers attend Yemen’s religious institutions on a daily basis.
The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, confirmed the fatality count in a press release on Monday and called for an investigation into the incident. They noted that the students of the school were given no warning of the attack, and that a majority of the victims in the attack were women and children.
Eyewitnesses said that the Fatema Mosque was severely damaged by the missile attack. The school, on the other hand, suffered minor damage and did not suffer any casualties.
Officials in Aden claimed that the Houthi militiamen used the missiles to target Houthi-owned vehicles in the Masman district.