Red Cross employee killed in Yemen attack

April 21 (UPI) — A humanitarian aid worker was shot and killed Saturday while in his vehicle in southwestern Yemen.

Hanna Lahoud, a Lebanese national in charge of the detention program, was on his way to visit a prison when he was attacked in his vehicle by unknown armed men outside of Taiz, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement.

Lahoud was rushed to a hospital where he later died. Colleagues traveling with Lahoud were unharmed in the incident.

“The International Committee of the Red Cross is deeply saddened by the fatal shooting today of one of its staff members in Yemen,” the statement read.

ICRC’s Middle East Director, Robert Mardini, said the organization is in shock.

“We condemn this brutal and apparently deliberate attack on a dedicated humanitarian worker. Hanna was a young man full of life and was widely known and liked,” said Mardini. “Nothing can justify Hanna’s murder and we are in deep mourning for our dear friend and colleague. Our hearts and thoughts are with Hanna’s loved ones and friends.”

Lahoud had been working for the ICRC since 2010 in various field positions and at the organization’s headquarters. Previously, he had been a first aid volunteer and staff member with the Lebanese Red Cross.

Shane Stevenson, country director of the humanitarian group Oxfam in Yemen, said as a very close knit international community, “we are all saddened by the death of our colleague.”

“Our most sincere sympathies go to Hanna’s family and colleagues at ICRC. We are appalled by this brutal attack on a fellow humanitarian who gave his life working to help others in need,” Stevenson said. “Aid workers need security and protection to deliver life-saving aid, and we remain committed to the cause for which Hanna gave his life.”

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