SANAA, Yemen — Gunmen shot and killed the head of one of the World Food Program's offices in southwestern Yemen on Friday, the humanitarian organization said. No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement, WFP said that Moayad Hameidi, a Jordanian, was shot by gunmen in the city of Taiz not long after he arrived in the country to assume the role as head of its office in that city. It added he died shortly after reaching a hospital.
Hameidi was shot by two armed assailants on a motorbike, according to a statement issued by a local security committee on Friday. No further information was given.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, also known by its acronym AQAP and believed to be one of the more dangerous branches of the al-Qaida terror network, is active in several regions in Yemen. Years of the country's civil war have allowed the militants to maintain a presence in several areas around Yemen.
The war began in 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen and forced the government into exile. A Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015 to try restore the internationally recognized government to power.
Both the Houthis and the government condemned the attack in statements late Friday. Neither side accused anyone of being behind the killing.
Taiz, the country’s third-largest city, has been under a siege by the Houthis since 2016, as part of the brutal civil war. The blockade has severely restricted freedom of movement and impeded the flow of essential goods, medicine and humanitarian aid to the city’s residents.
A senior Yemeni security official from the government side said an investigation was underway. He declined to give his name as he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Yemen's conflict has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and over the years turned it into a regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. More than 150,000 people, including fighters and civilians, have been killed.