Blasts hit Yemen’s Aden airport as new fugitive government arrives

December 30, 2020 - 17:15

Loud blasts and gunfire were heard at Aden’s airport shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed Yemeni fugitive government arrived from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, witnesses said.

The cabinet members, including Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, were transferred safely to the city’s presidential palace, the witnesses and Saudi media said.

“The number of casualties have not been confirmed yet but sources said the explosions were powerful,” Al Jazeera’s Mohammed al-Attab, reporting from Sanaa, said.

Security sources told the Reuters news agency that at least five people have been killed and dozens more injured in the attack.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said he heard two explosions. “At least two explosions were heard as the cabinet members were leaving the aircraft,” the correspondent said.

Saudi state television Ekhbaria showed destroyed vehicles and smashed glass. Plumes of white smoke rose from the scene.

Yemen’s fugitive government and southern separatists formed a new power-sharing cabinet on December 18,  and arrived in the southern city of Aden on Wednesday, days after being sworn in Saudi Arabia.

The new government was formed under the auspices of Riyadh, which leads a military coalition against the Yemenis.

The Saudi-led coalition has since five years ago enforced an all-out aerial, naval, and land blockade on the impoverished country.

The war has taken a heavy toll on Yemen's infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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