SANAA, Yemen, Sept. 2 (UPI) — Unidentified gunmen fatally shot two Red Cross aid workers Wednesday in Yemen’s northern province of Amran, the international organization said.
The Red Cross workers, who were Yemeni nationals, were traveling from a mission in the city of Saada to the main office in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The workers were traveling with two others in two vehicles clearly marked with the Red Cross emblem.
The vehicles were stopped by gunmen who opened fire. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We are shocked and appalled by the brutal killing of two of our staff members earlier today in Amran, Yemen,” the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen said in a statement. “We condemn in strongest possible terms the brutal targeting of the staff who put themselves in harm’s way to help improve lives of others.”
The two other people yet to be identified who traveled with the Red Cross workers are safe.
The United Nations estimates at least 4,500 people have been killed in the Yemeni conflict since March, when Saudi Arabia began a bombing campaign against the Houthis. The rebels pushed in from the north and seized several of Yemen’s main cities earlier this year, sending the country’s president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, into exile in Saudi Arabia.
The UN says 1,950 civilians have been killed since March, and that 21 million Yemenis cannot survive without some form of aid, with four out of five children, women and men lacking basic necessities such as water, food, adequate medical care and shelter.