World Middle East 04 Mar 2016 4 Indian nurses amon ...

4 Indian nurses among 16 dead in gun attack on Yemen care home

Published Mar 4, 2016, 5:06 pm IST
Updated Mar 4, 2016, 7:02 pm IST
Four gunmen stormed the care home in Aden's Sheikh Othman district.
Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have stepped up attacks in Aden. (Photo: AFP)
 Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have stepped up attacks in Aden. (Photo: AFP)

Aden: At least 16 people, including four Indian nurses, were killed when gunmen opened fire on Friday at an elderly care home in Yemen's main southern city of Aden, security officials said.

Four gunmen stormed the facility housing dozens in Aden's Sheikh Othman district, killing a guard before tying up and shooting employees, the officials said. Screams of elderly residents echoed from the home during the shooting rampage, witnesses said.


They said that they saw bodies of slain workers with their arms tied behind their backs scattered on the floor as the aged residents cried out in fear. The dead nurses were Indian nuns, the officials said, adding that the rest of those killed were Yemenis working at the home.

Read: India ascertaining reports of 4 nurses being gunned down in Yemen

No group claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, the first of its kind in Yemen, where the internationally-recognised government is grappling with an Iran-backed rebellion on one side and a growing jihadist presence on the other.


One official said the attackers were "extremists" and blamed the Islamic State group, which has been gaining ground in Aden in recent months.

President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has declared Aden Yemen's temporary capital as Sanaa remains in the hands of the Huthi rebels and their allies since they seized it in September 2014.

4 dead in drone strike

Further east, a suspected drone strike hit a vehicle carrying Al-Qaeda militants in Shabwa province, killing four, local government and tribal sources said Friday.

Only the United States is known to operate armed drones over Yemen.


Al-Qaeda and IS have stepped up attacks in Aden despite the efforts of the government and its backers in a Saudi-led coalition battling the Huthis and their allies to secure it.

However, most attacks have so far targeted coalition forces and pro-government Yemeni troops.

Late on Thursday, gunmen in Aden shot dead Hussein al-Wuhayshi, a leader of local pro-government militia formed in the south in 2011 to fight Al-Qaeda, along with his brother, a security official said. 

On Monday, suicide car bombing in Sheikh Othman hit a gathering of loyalist forces killing four people and wounding five others, according to a security official.


The rebels controlled Yemen's main port city for months before government loyalists pushed them out in July.

Because of the unrest gripping Aden, Hadi himself and many senior officials in his government spend most of their time in Riyadh.

Al-Qaeda has been well-established for years in south Yemen, but now faces competition from IS, which has mounted a series of deadly attacks, particularly in Aden.

In December, suspected jihadists blew up a small deserted Catholic church in the city dating from the 1950s when Aden was a British protectorate.


More than 6,000 people have been killed in the Yemeni conflict with more than 80 percent of the population in dire need of food, medicine or other basic necessities, according to the United Nations.