Yemeni journalist Rasha Abdullah al-Harazi was killed in a car bomb attack on November 9, 2021, while she was driving through the Khor Makser neighborhood of the southern port city of Aden, according to reports by Reuters, The Associated Press, and the independent Yemeni newspaper Al-Masdar.
Al-Harazi, 26, was in the car with her husband, Mahmoud al-Atmi, also a journalist, and was pregnant at the time, Ali Mahmood, a freelance journalist based in Aden, told CPJ via email.
The Washington Post reported that the couple were on their way to a medical appointment related to al-Harazi’s pregnancy. The couple also have an older son, Jawad, who was not with them at the time of the blast, Mahmood told CPJ.
Al-Harazi was killed at the scene, and al-Atmi was hospitalized with serious injuries, including multiple fractures, shrapnel wounds in his back, and an eye injury, according to the Emirati daily The National. Al-Atmi told the newspaper that he had received information a month and a half earlier that the Ansar Allah group, known as the Houthis, were collecting information on him, including his movements and a description of his car.
He said he believed that the Houthis had targeted him with the car bomb because of his journalism. Al-Atmi also told The National that he had decided to leave for the Yemeni city of Mukalla but delayed his departure from Aden because al-Harazi was about to give birth.
CPJ is investigating whether al-Harazi herself was a target of the attack.
Al-Harazi worked for the Emirati news channels Al-Ain and Al-Sharq, according to the AP and a report by the Saudi satellite news channel Al-Arabiya. She worked as a photographer and camera operator for Al-Ain, and also for the U.A.E.-based Bloomberg Asharq, a collaboration between the U.S. business news wire and the Saudi government-tied Saudi Research and Media Group, according to a person familiar with her work who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing security concerns. The Washington Post reported that al-Harazi focused mainly on local news reporting.
Aden is controlled by the secessionist Southern Transitional Council, a group that agreed to a power-sharing arrangement with the internationally recognized Yemeni government in 2019; that deal was never fully implemented, and the council operates autonomously with its own security forces and allied militias, according to news reports.
When contacted via messaging app, Southern Transitional Council spokesperson Mansour Saleh told CPJ that the council strongly condemned the bombing and that its security forces were investigating it.