Back from war-torn Yemen to their hometown in Karnataka, Mohammed Younus Shabandri and his family are relieved they were able to make a timely exit from the conflict zone. Barely two days after their return, their apartment in Aden was struck by an RPG and later occupied by Houthi rebels.
“We are lucky that we got out in time. Things could have gotten a lot worse if there we were forced to stay in Aden any longer. We reached Bhatkal on April 3, and on April 5, I got a call from some of our neighbours in Aden that there were clashes right outside our building and an RPG had hit our flat and caused heavy damage. Soon after, armed Houthi fighters also entered the building and occupied it,” Shabandri told The Sunday Express.
Shabandri moved to Yemen eight years ago. He lived in Aden’s Mallaa area in a three-storey house with his wife and three kids.
“We were living in constant fear as we kept hearing that Houthi rebels were advancing on Aden…. Our water and food reserves were getting depleted, but we were too scared to step out of our homes,” recalled Shabandri.
Shabandri, his family and his cousin were among 349 persons evacuated from Aden by INS Sumitra and taken to Djibouti on April 1. They were then brought to Mumbai on April 2.