A Yemeni judge and seven members of his family were killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in the capital Sanaa on Sunday, residents said, as an aid convoy delivered food to a besieged southern city for the first time in months.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been bombing the Iran-allied Houthis, who control the capital, since March. Nearly 6,000 people have been killed, around half of them civilians, according to UN figures.
The bomb partially destroyed the home of Yahya Rubaid, a judge appointed by the Houthis to a national security court who had prosecuted cases against militant groups like Al Qaeda but had also presided over treason cases against President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and other ousted foes of the Houthis.
All of Rubaid’s family except one of his sons was also killed in the blast, which destroyed the two-storey home, residents said.
President Hadi, driven out of Sanaa last year by Houthi fighters that Arab neighbours say are backed by Iran, has returned to lead a government from the southern port of Aden, recaptured in July by troops from the Saudi-led coalition.
Pro-Hadi and Gulf Arab forces have pushed up toward the capital but have been bogged down in mountainous battlefronts for months, especially in the southwestern city of Taiz.
Residents of the city, Yemen’s third largest, have been caught in the crossfire and cut off from humanitarian aid for nine months which many residents call a “siege” imposed by the Houthis.
The United Nations World Food Program said on Sunday it was able to send 12 trucks laden with food into some of the worst-affected districts of Tai on Sunday, providing enough aid to feed 3,000 families for a month.
The delivery followed weeks of intense lobbying by international aid groups with the Houthis to relieve stricken civilians in the city, one of the country’s worst war zones.