Reported explosion at Aden airport after the arrival of a plane carrying the new Yemeni government of Saudi Arabia.
A large explosion hit Aden airport in southern Yemen on Wednesday, shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed cabinet landed there, security officials said.
Initial reports indicate that several people have been killed and dozens have been injured.
The source of the explosion was not immediately clear and no group claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Yemen’s Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani blamed the attack on Iran-backed Houthi rebels, adding that all members of the government were safe.
The Houthis have denied responsibility for the attack.
Officials at the scene said they saw bodies lying on the tarmac and elsewhere at the airport.
Here are the latest updates:
Government officials unharmed, information minister says
Yemeni Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani said all members of the government were safe.
“We assure our great people that the members of the government are fine, and we assure you that the cowardly terrorist attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi armed group will not deter us from fulfilling our patriotic duty,” he said. declared on Twitter.
This is the time when explosions and gunshots were heard at Aden airport in Yemen shortly after the arrival of a plane carrying a new unity government from Saudi Arabia. Read more: https://t.co/Bzq2Xqc1y7 pic.twitter.com/NJukRwkWg1
– Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 30, 2020
Yemen communications minister says plane was the target
Yemeni Communications Minister Naguib al-Awg, who was also on the government plane, told The Associated Press he heard two explosions, suggesting they were drone attacks.
“It would have been a disaster if the plane had been bombed,” he said, insisting that the plane was the target of the attack because it was supposed to land earlier.
‘Unacceptable act of violence’: UN envoy condemns attack
The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, condemned the explosion as an “unacceptable act of violence”.
He said in a tweet that it was “a tragic reminder of the importance of urgently bringing #Yemen back to the path of peace.”
2/2 Griffiths: I wish the Cabinet the strength to face the difficult tasks ahead. This unacceptable act of violence is a tragic reminder of the importance of bringing #Yemen back on the road to peace.
– @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) December 30, 2020