Indonesia embassy in Yemen damaged after Saudi-led air strike, 3 injured

THE Indonesian Embassy in Yemen was heavily damaged, while its two diplomats and one citizen were injured, in explosions that followed an air strike by Saudi-led coalition warplanes on a missile depot in the rebel-held Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

At least 15 people were dead and there were fears for dozens more after the air strikes that set off the explosions, reported Agence France-Presse.

Medics said at least 15 civilians were killed and dozens wounded and there were fears of a much higher death toll, reported AFP.

The two strikes on a missile depot in the Fajj Attan area of Sanaa sparked explosions that flattened nearby houses, shook faraway neighbourhods and sent clouds of thick smoke billowing over the capital.

The explosions came as Jakarta was trying to evacuate its citizens from conflict-torn Yemen.

The explosions took place at 10:45am local time and damaged the embassy building and all the embassy’s vehicles, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Indonesian Foreign Minister denounces the attack. The Indonesian government reiterates that this attack serves to show that resolving a problem through violence would only cause the innocent people to fall a victim.” the statement said.

While Houthi rebel forces had been active in the north of Yemen, fighting intensified from September 2014 when the rebels overran the capital Sanaa.

A coalition of Sunni Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia launched the air campaign against the rebels last month, vowing to restore the authority of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh.

The Indonesian government has evacuated 1,973 of its citizens from Yemen since December. Indonesian evacuation teams are still in several places in Yemen.  

When asked about the bombing on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum on East Asia, President Joko Widodo said: “I can’t comment yet. I have just been reported by the Foreign Minister about that.

“I need to get further details first.”

wahyudis@sph.com.sg