Written by staff writer
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for an apparent suicide bombing that killed a pregnant journalist in the capital Sanaa.
Yasmina Sabra, 30, was in her car with her five-month-old baby son — who was unhurt — when it exploded, according to the journalists’ union of Yemen.
“This is a criminal act,” the union said in a statement, denouncing the “betrayal” of an agent who “could not treat the citizen seriously.”
The Houthis said on their rebel-run al-Masirah TV that Sabra “was hit in the neck by the explosion, and her son escaped injury.”
The Houthis have promised to avenge Sabra’s death. They have been conducting a nearly three-year war against supporters of Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government, including a growing number of defectors, including journalists.
In March 2016, journalist and activist Abdul Qader al-Khayat was found dead in his Sanaa apartment. In the days following, authorities arrested dozens of activists and journalists for their involvement in the demonstrations — in which hundreds of Yemenis took to the streets to protest years of poverty and violence.
Earlier this year, another Yemeni journalist, Abdul Kader Khareem, died of wounds sustained in a January 20th car bomb attack. Khareem was a columnist with Qataeeqt-si, a news website that covers the western part of the country.
Three hours before his death, Khareem had taken to his Twitter account to accuse the Houthis of attacking the presidential palace in Sanaa during a rebel-led attack there.
Yemen was thrown into a catastrophic civil war in March 2015 when Shiite Houthi rebels from the north of the country seized the capital Sanaa and advanced on the country’s southern and central regions.