Abdullah al-Qadry, a photographer and camera operator for the privately owned station Belqees TV, died from injuries sustained during a missile attack while covering clashes between government forces and the Ansar Allah movement, commonly known as the Houthis, in Yemen’s Bayda province, according to news reports.
Al-Qadry was traveling in a car with Belqees TV correspondent Khalil al-Taweel and two Yemen Shabab reporters, Thiab Shatir and Walid al-Jaouri, to interview members of the government-affiliated National Yemeni Army in Bayda’s Qaniyah area when the attack began, according to reports.
Al-Taweel, Shatir, and al-Jaouri were all injured in the attack, according to reports.
Al-Taweel told CPJ that he and al-Qadry “tried to hide in a ditch to protect ourselves [when the attack began]. From there I recorded the attack [on video]. We tried to flee, but we were shot at. We stayed there for 10 minutes. Abdullah was bleeding and there was no medical assistance. Any cars that tried to come closer to us and help were also shot at by Houthi snipers,” al-Taweel said.
The correspondent said that an armored vehicle arrived and picked up Shatir and two wounded civilians who were hiding nearby. Abdullah was left behind “because the driver probably took him for dead,” al-Taweel said.
Al-Qadry died at the scene from a neck wound caused by shrapnel, according to reports. The armored vehicle that picked up Shatir later retrieved al-Qadry’s body, al-Taweel said.
Al-Taweel said that he and al-Jaouri were picked up by an ambulance and for three hours searched for a hospital.
Belqees TV and Yemen Shabab reported that al-Qadry had not been wearing a protective jacket and helmet at the time of the attack.
The two stations issued a joint statement that said the Houthis targeted the news crews in the missile strike. Both stations back the internationally recognized Yemeni government, which retook Qaniyah from the Houthis on April 11, two days before al-Qadry was killed.
Ansar Allah spokesperson Muhammad Abdalsalam did not respond to CPJ’s email and text messages requesting comment. It was not possible for CPJ to verify the stations’ claims that the journalists were targeted.
Belqees TV said that al-Qadry had covered the Yemeni conflict for the station for the past three years and worked as a stringer for Agence France-Presse.
Journalists covering the Yemeni conflict face risks including kidnapping, raids, and missile strikes, according to CPJ research.