Yemen journalist working for US-based media group killed in suicide blast

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Rashida Khadr, an award-winning investigative journalist, among several killed in attack on restaurant in Aden

A pregnant Yemeni journalist working for a US-based media organisation has been killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a street in the southern port city of Aden.

Rashida Khadr, who had just moved from Sanaa to work for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), was one of several killed in the attack.

The US-based organization said that three of its team, including Khadr and a local journalist, were also seriously injured in the blast that killed at least nine people.

Witnesses said that the restaurant, called Jame’ee al-Sanabir, where Khadr was eating, was packed with people when a gunman opened fire from outside before he detonated the explosive vest he was wearing.

“I saw people falling around me when the shooting started and I was hit by a bullet,” Faisal al-Qahtan, a witness who was injured in the blast, told the AFP news agency.

“We had been in shock for 10 minutes when the suicide bomber was detonated inside the restaurant,” he said.

Khadr joined the ICIJ project from Yemeni-owned, US-based Saleh al-Doubah Newspaper last month after reporting for the New York Times and reporting on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Foreign journalists are frequently detained and killed in Yemen while investigating the country’s vicious conflicts.

Shi’ite Houthi rebels controlled the capital Sanaa for nearly four years until they were ousted in a Saudi-led coalition military intervention in 2015.

They are now battling government forces supported by coalition air strikes and backed by troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is accused of colluding with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The US relies on military assistance to turn the tide against AQAP, which controls vast swaths of territory in south and south-east Yemen.

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