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Yemeni officials: Explosion at arms depot kills 3

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SANAA, Yemen – An explosion at an arms depot in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan killed three people and injured 18 on Tuesday, medical officials said.

The cause of the morning explosion at the warehouse, located in a popular market in the town of Lawdar, was not immediately known. The town is controlled by forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of Yemen.

Many injured have serious injuries, officials said, adding they fear the death toll could rise further. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Responsibility for the explosion was not immediately claimed. The warehouse was used to store weapons as well as explosives, both commonly sold in Lawdar’s market.

Yemen has been embroiled in civil war since 2014, when Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, and forced the government into exile. The following year, a Saudi-led coalition went to war to fight the Houthis and try to restore the government to power.

Despite relentless air campaign and ground fighting, the war largely ended in stalemate and spawned one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Over the years of conflict, the poorest country in the Arab world has also been inundated with small arms smuggled through poorly controlled ports. In May, at least five civilians were killed and 20 injured when a man dropped a hand grenade into a crowded fish market in Aden, a port city in southern Yemen.


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