SANAA, Yemen, Armed men robbed Yemeni central bank's transport vehicle of 20 million Yemeni riyals (799,120 usd), while it was to deliver salaries to the Telecommunications Ministry's branch.

The branch is located in the southern Yemeni province of Lahj, a pro-government news website reported.

The gunmen intercepted the armoured vehicle in Hota, the provincial capital city of Lahj, and forced the driver and the vehicle's security escorts to open the vault.

They stole the cash and fled, the report quoted a local security source as saying. Security authorities launched an immediate investigation.

The central bank is based in Aden, the temporary capital of the internationally-recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

It was the third largest armed robbery in less than three months, after the robbery of 30 million riyals in June from a private bank in Aden, and 40 million riyals in May from another private bank in the neighbouring southern province of Abyan, according to local reports.

The Yemeni riyal has since lost more than half of its value against the U.S. dollar.

Soaring prices have put basic food out of reach for many Yemenis.

An estimated 85,000 children under five years old, may have died from extreme hunger since 2015, and another 400,000 children are fighting to survive, while more than 20 million Yemenis are on the verge of starvation, according to recent reports by the UN aid agencies.

Source: NAM News Network

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