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Missile fired at Yemen hotel used by government officials

Unidentified assailants have attacked a hotel used by Yemeni government officials. Despite a number of casualties, the prime minister was not hurt. Yemen's recognized government recently reclaimed the city of Aden.

Unidentified attackers fired at the al-Qasr hotel in Aden on Tuesday, causing a number of casualties, according to residents.

The attack left "dead and wounded" at the scene, a local official told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. At least 18 people were believed to have been killed, mostly troops from the UAE, local newspaper Aden al-Ghad claimed.

The UAE's foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter that Yemen's Houthi rebels were behind the attack, but added that the Saudi-led coalition fighting to reinstall Yemen's recognized government was on the path to victory.

"The situation on the ground shows that they are waging a losing battle and that their role has been diminished to retreating on the ground and to try to inflict damage with mines, ambushes and rockets," Gargash said.

Eyewitnesses said one missile appeared to have been fired at the gate of the hotel. The building was on fire and there were ambulances on the scene, they said.

Another projectile landed close to the hotel and a third one struck Buraiqah district in Aden, residents reported.

Yemen's Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and other officials, including cabinet members, were not hurt in the strike, according to media reports. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was believed to be out of the country in Saudi Arabia.

The al-Qasr hotel has been housing members of the government after they returned from Riyadh following the explusion of Houthi rebels from the area. The hotel was being guarded by troops from the United Arab Emirates since Aden was declared a provisional capital in July this year.

Riyadh began airstrikes and military operations in Yemen in March this year to return President Hadi's regime to power. Hadi was driven out from the capital Sanaa last year after the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels took over the city last year.

mg/msh (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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