A pregnant Yemeni journalist was killed on Thursday when a bomb exploded in her car in an attack thought to be linked to her work.
Maha al-Qudsi, a 32-year-old journalist and member of the supreme council of the Journalists Syndicate, was killed in the capital Sanaa as she travelled to work, al-Masirah television station said.
Sanaa has been experiencing a crackdown on journalists in recent weeks, with numerous arrests and threats of violence on social media.
Six months ago it was al-Jazeera that was hit by US drone strikes, but Yemeni reporters, like in other parts of the region, have often been targeted in a war that has seen mounting US involvement and, to a lesser extent, French-backed Saudi Arabia.
“She is a martyr,” al-Qudsi’s husband, Abdul-Qader al-Jahmi, told the broadcaster, and said he had run outside the house as the bomb exploded.
“She was not aggressive or confrontational but she is fearless,” al-Jahmi said.
This is not the first time Qudsi has been targeted by the radical Sunni Muslim group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Two years ago, AQAP said it would attack her because of her reports that the militant group controlled parts of the capital.
AQAP has previously claimed responsibility for targeting Qudsi and al-Jahmi, whom it considers to be a member of the Shia Houthi group. The group is allied with Yemen’s most powerful tribe, al-Ahmar, who are opposing Houthi control of the capital.
Human Rights Watch called on Yemen’s security forces to investigate her death.
“Authorities need to quickly provide a full and independent investigation into this attack and prosecute anyone found responsible for harming Mazah al-Qudsi,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at HRW.
The country’s government spokesman, Rajeh Badi, said the cause of the explosion was not yet known, the AFP news agency reported. Al-Masirah quoted security sources as saying that AQAP was suspected in the bombing.
“The government is concerned about all threats against journalists and will pursue them to the end,” said Badi.