Yemeni officials: Explosion at weapons depot kills 6

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SANAA, Yemen — An explosion at a weapons depot in Yemen’s southern Abyan province on Tuesday killed six people and wounded 32, medical officials said.

The cause of the early morning explosion, which tore apart a warehouse located in a popular market in the town of Lowdar, was not immediately known. The city is controlled by forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of Yemen.

Many of the injured have critical injuries, officials said, adding that they feared the death toll could rise further. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the explosion. The warehouse was used to store weapons and also explosives, both of which are commonly sold in the Laudar market.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa and forced the government into exile. The following year, a Saudi-led coalition entered the war to fight the Houthis and try to restore the government to power.

Despite a relentless air campaign and ground fighting, the war has largely stalled and spawned one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

During the years of conflict, the Arab world’s poorest country has also been inundated with small arms that have been smuggled into poorly controlled ports. In May, at least five civilians were killed and 20 wounded when a man threw a hand grenade into a crowded fish market in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden.

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