A Houthi attack on Yemen’s al-Anad military base using an exploding drone has killed five Yemeni soldiers and injured officers including the country’s defence chief of staff.
The attack was carried out on a military parade and wounded at least 20 military personnel, including Mohammad Saleh Tamah, the head of Yemen's Intelligence Service, Mohammad Jawas, a senior military commander and Ahmed al-Turki, the governor of Lahij province.
This high-level attack according to AlJazeera has been confirmed by Houthi Spokesperson Abdul Guddoos al-Shahari. Abdul Guddoos confirmed that the Yemeni army's chief of staff, Abdullah Al-Nakhee, was also wounded in the attack. "Our intelligence intercepted communications between the enemy commanders in which they mentioned that the chief of staff was wounded," al-Shahari said.
Guddoos said the drone carried, "between 70 and 100 kilogrammes of explosives, and was detonated while flying over the main stage of the military parade after an "accurate surveillance of the enemy commanders' movements".
However, the Yemeni army released a video which downplayed the extent of the attack, saying the drone exploded a "far distance [away] and did not hurt anybody." "We are all safe, our situations is good and our health is good," General Thabit Jawas said in a widely circulated video.
The attack by the Houthi rebels who are fighting against the Yemeni government supported by Saudi Arabia, comes just a day after the UN Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council that the Sweden ceasefire deal had brought a considerable de-escalation to the conflict.
Under the ceasefire deal, the Houthis were to withdraw from the strategic port city of Hodeidah and the southwestern city of Taiz. The rebels said they would halt all drone and missile attacks, but in recent days both sides have accused each other of violating the agreement.