4 Indian nuns, 12 others killed in Yemen retirement home

March 4, 2016 | By | Reply More

Mar 04, – The killing spree began with two gunmen who first surrounded the home for the elderly in Aden while four others entered the building, the witnesses and officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Mideast YemenGunmen stormed a retirement home run by Catholic nuns in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on Friday, killing 16 people, including four Indian nuns, Yemeni security officials and witnesses said.

The gunmen then moved from room to room, handcuffing the victims before shooting them in the head. A nun who survived and was rescued by locals said that she hid inside a fridge in a storeroom after hearing a Yemeni guard shouting “run, run.”

Khaled Haidar told The Associated Press that he counted 16 bodies, including that of his brother, Radwan. All had been shot in the head and were handcuffed. He said that in addition to the four Indian nuns, six Ethiopians, one Yemeni cook, and Yemeni guards were among those killed.

He said that his family was the first to arrive at the house and that he spoke to the surviving nun, who was crying and shaking. Haidar said that his family later handed her over to a group of southern fighters in charge of security in the local Aden district of Sheikh Osman.

Vikas Swarup, the spokesman of India’s External Affairs Ministry, said the attackers had asked the guard to open the gate on the pretext of visiting their mothers at the retirement home.

“On entering inside, (they) immediately shot dead the gatekeeper and started shooting randomly,” he said, adding that the assailants escaped soon after the attack.

The bodies were transferred to a police station and then a hospital run by the aid organization known as Doctors Without Borders or MSF. An official with MSF confirmed that 15 bodies had arrived at the hospital. Haider said his family took his brother’s body for burial.

There are around 80 residents living at the home, which is run by Missionaries of Charity, an organization established by Mother Teresa. Missionaries of Charity nuns also came under attack in Yemen in 1998, when gunmen killed three nuns in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida.

Aden descended into lawlessness after a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the city from Shiite Houthi rebels last summer.

Yemen’s civil war has split the country in two. The northern region, where Shiite rebels are in control, has been struck by an extensive air campaign by a Saudi-led coalition. The southern region, which is controlled by the internationally-recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia, is suffering from a power and security vacuum.

Islamic State group and al-Qaida affiliates have exploited the lawlessness and created safe havens in the south.

Al-Qaida controls several southern cities and Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a wave of deadly attacks in Aden, including a suicide bombing that killed the city’s governor and several assassination attempts on top officials.

Aden’s churches have also come under attack. In the summer, a Catholic church in the district of Crater was torched and sabotaged by Islamic extremists.

Yemen’s war has killed at least 6,200 civilians and injured tens of thousands of Yemenis, and 2.4 million people have been displaced.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Arab uprising

Leave a Reply