December 31, 2015 / 7:14 AM / 2 years ago

Gunmen kill senior militia leader in Yemen's Aden: residents

ADEN (Reuters) - Gunmen shot and killed a senior Yemeni militia leader and four people traveling in his convoy in the southern city of Aden, residents and militia sources said on Thursday.

Assailants in a car and on a motorcycle opened fire on the motorcade of Ahmed al-Idrisi, a top commander in the pro-government Popular Southern Resistance group, while it traveled on a main road in the Mansoura district late on Wednesday.

The attack underscoring security chaos in the city which is the embattled Yemeni government’s temporary capital.

Idrisi’s militia is a main ally of a mostly Gulf Arab coalition which has been bombing the Iran-allied Houthi movement based in the capital, Sanaa, in Yemen’s north.

The alliance intervened in the country’s civil war on March 26 in support of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government.

In a separate incident, gunmen abducted the dean of a department at Aden University on Thursday, faculty and eyewitnesses said, two days after armed militants stormed the campus and demanded men and women not mix in classes.

Staff closed the university in a protest against Dr. Saleh Mubarak’s kidnapping and demanded the government do more to improve security, faculty of arts dean Mohammed Abdul Hadi said.

Yemen’s Gulf-backed administration has struggled to impose its writ on southern regions, challenged by al Qaeda and bombing attacks by a new branch of Islamic State.

Almost 6,000 people have died in the conflict and though southern militias and Gulf ground forces pushed the Houthis out of Aden in July and paved the way for Hadi to return, battle lines across the country have been stalemated for months as a diplomatic resolution remains elusive.

Saudi Arabia and its allies believe the Houthis are a proxy for their regional rival Iran - something the Islamic Republic and the Houthis deny.

A senior Aden judge, Jalal Abdullah, was killed on the Mansoura thoroughfare on Tuesday, hours before a bomb detonated at a nearby headquarters of the Islah Islamist party, injuring one person, according to medics.

Reporting By Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Robert Birsel

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