At least 13 people were killed and dozens more wounded in an explosion attack on Aden airport on Wednesday moments after a plane landed carrying a newly formed Saudi-backed cabinet for government-held parts of Yemen.
Loud blasts and gunfire were heard at the airport shortly after the plane arrived from Riyadh, witnesses said. Two security sources gave the toll of casualties. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
The cabinet members including Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, as well as Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Said al-Jaber, were transferred safely to the city’s presidential palace, the witnesses and Saudi media said.
“We and the members of the government are in the temporary capital of Aden and everyone is fine,” Maeen tweeted from Maasheq palace. “The cowardly terrorist act that targeted Aden airport is part of the war that is being waged against the Yemeni state and its great people.”
Jaber tweeted: “Peace, security and stability will prevail thanks to Yemenis’ strong will and their brave government.”
A local security source said three mortar shells had landed on the airport’s hall.
The newly formed cabinet unites the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi with southern separatists, intended to fulfill a Saudi aim of ending a feud among Riyadh’s allies.
The two groups are the main Yemeni factions in a southern-based, Saudi-backed alliance fighting against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls the north, including the capital Sanaa. (Reuters)