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ADEN: A senior army officer was among five Yemeni soldiers killed on Wednesday in a bomb attack near the southern city of Aden, officials said.

“Major General Thabet Jawas and four soldiers were killed in a car bomb explosion when their vehicle was passing… in an area north of Aden,” a security official told AFP.

A local official confirmed the attack and the number of dead. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Jawas was considered one of the main commanders fighting Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels since the start of the country’s civil war in 2014.

Yemen’s internationally-recognised government relocated to Aden from the capital Sanaa in late 2014, forced out by the Huthis.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015 in support of the government.

Yemen’s south is often the target of car bomb or missile attacks that the authorities blame on the rebels.

Aden has also been the target of several attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other militants loyal to IS have thrived in the chaos of Yemen’s war.

AQAP has carried out operations against both the Huthis and government forces.

Some 80 percent of Yemen’s population of about 30 million people depend on aid for survival, after seven years of a conflict that has killed almost 380,000 people, directly or indirectly, according to the UN.

Repeated diplomatic efforts have failed to get the two sides to agree on a peace deal.

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