Explosions rocked a southern Yemeni hotel that houses members of deposed President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government, officials said, in a deadly attack Tuesday that drew conflicting
accounts about the weapons used and who was behind it.
At least 15 people were killed in the attack on the Al Qasr Hotel in Aden, according to WAM, the news agency for the United Arab Emirates.
All Yemeni government officials staying at the hote, including the Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, were
unharmed and evacuated, Transport Minister Badr Basalma said.
Four UAE soldiers were among the dead, WAM said.
And the Saudi official press agency SPA said one Saudi soldier died. Both countries have contributed
troops in a battle against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, hoping to restore Hadi to power.
There were different accounts to the explosion.
Islamist militant group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
ISIS, in a statement posted on Twitter, said that suicide bombers blew up two explosive-laden
vehicles at the hotel.
Transport Minister, Badr Basalma, however, said two rockets hit the building, and another landed outside. He blamed the Houthi rebels and militias loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh , who preceded Hadi in office.
Basalma, explaining his belief that Houthis were responsible, cited his understanding that rockets
caused the blasts.
“Only they (the Houthis) have the technical capacity to do this,” he said. “These were long-range rockets with high accuracy, and it’s the Houthi militias, with the technical support from Iran, who have this capability.”
The officials evacuated from the hotel are staying in Aden, Basalma said.