People wait outside the hospital where Hassan Zaid, minister for youth and sports in Yemen's rebel Huthi administration, was taken for treatment after having been shot by unidentified gunmen, in the Huthi-held capital Sanaa, on October 27, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
Yemeni officials said armed men shot dead a rebel official Tuesday as he was heading to his office in the capital Sanaa, the most senior Houthi to be killed in more than two years.
Hassan Zaid, who leads the rebel-run Youth and Sports Ministry, died of his wounds immediately after armed men opened fire on his car in the Haddah neighborhood in central Sanaa, the Houthi rebels said.
The minister's daughter, who was driving the car, was also wounded, the Houthi-run Interior Ministry said in a statement.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Iranian-backed Houthis claimed that the Saudi-led coalition fighting them since 2015 was behind the killing. The rebels did not provide evidence.
A spokesman for the coalition was not immediately available for comment.
Zaid, 66, was the most senior Houthi official killed in Sanaa since the 2017 clashes that led to the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the rebels.
He was also the first top official killed since an airstrike in 2018 by the Saudi-led coalition killed Saleh al-Samad, president of the Houthi-backed political body.
The Houthi minister was wanted by Saudi Arabia for plotting attacks and in 2017 it offered a $10 million bounty to anyone who provided information leading to his arrest.
Yemen plunged into chaos and civil war when the Houthi rebels took over the capital, Sanaa, in 2014 from the internationally recognized government. A Saudi-led coalition allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis since March 2015.
The war in Yemen has spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical shortages. It has killed over 112,000 people, including fighters and civilians, according to a database project that tracks violence.