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

Vastavam Web: A large explosion struck the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Wednesday, shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed Saudi-backed cabinet landed there, security officials said. Yemen’s Interior Ministry said least 26 people were killed and more than 50 were wounded in the blast.

Hours after the attack, a second explosion was heard around Aden’s Maasheq presidential palace where the cabinet members including Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, as well as the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, had been taken to safely, residents and local media said.

It was unclear what caused the second blast and there were no immediate reports of casualties. “This treacherous, cowardly and terrorist attack, places the government at the heart of its responsibilities, which is the task of ending the coup, restoring the state, spreading stability and the recovery of our country,” Abdulmalik said.

An AFP correspondent at the airport 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 Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani blamed the attack on the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, adding that all the members of the government were safe.