A pregnant female journalist who was critically injured in a car explosion this week has died.
Lina Al-Obeidi, who had been covering the Yemeni government’s offensive against rebels loyal to Huthi militants for the Qatar-based Qatar-Africa news channel, died of her injuries in hospital on Friday. She was 15 weeks pregnant.
Al-Obeidi was driven by a truck through a rebel-held suburb of Sa’ada city on Wednesday, before the explosion happened. She was blown 10 metres by flying shrapnel and sustained major injuries to her arms and legs, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
She had been released from hospital two days ago but a spokesman for her family said on Friday that doctors decided to shift her to a specialised care unit on Thursday night after the damage from the blast had become too great.
At least five other people were killed and eight injured in the blast.
In a statement, the Lina Al-Obeidi Foundation condemned the attack and said it was appalled by the “need to kill, maim and burn journalists working for their journalistic liberty and freedom”.
The statement said: “The foundation apologises to Mr Al-Obeidi’s family, to his colleagues and to his country, Yemen, and we express our sincere condolences to them and to the many other victims and families of these killings.”
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the killing represented a “crime against humanity”. The organisation condemned the “malicious targeting of journalists reporting on ongoing conflict in Yemen, using car bombs that inflict unspeakable suffering on people in the armed conflict, and killing of those exercising their freedom of the press under the law of war”.
The paper that Al-Obeidi worked for has since been published. The co-founder and editor-in-chief, Sadad Almarzooqi, said the paper would resume its news coverage and launch an appeal for her support in order to launch a new edition of the paper.
The Houthi fighters said they destroyed the car because it was used in car bomb attacks on their base.
According to the CPJ, at least 14 Yemeni journalists and other media workers have been killed since 2012.