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30 Dec, 2020 11:38

Explosion and gunfire shakes Aden Airport in Yemen as plane carrying new government lands (VIDEO)

Explosion and gunfire shakes Aden Airport in Yemen as plane carrying new government lands (VIDEO)

A loud explosion was followed by gunfire as Yemen’s new government landed at Aden International Airport. Local footage shows the chaotic scenes that resulted.

The blast reportedly killed at least five people and left dozens more injured. Footage from the Dubai-based Al-Hadath TV channel captured the incident as it was occurring. As people were peacefully leaving the plane via an airstair, a crowd gathered below it. Then suddenly a loud blast can be heard, causing the cameraman and other people at the airport to struggle to stay on their feet.

When the camera turns left towards the source of the sound, total chaos can be seen, with crowds of people running away through dark smoke, apparently left by the blast. Then, automatic gunshots are heard. At one point, Yemeni soldiers shoot their rifles up in the air to direct people away from the blast area.

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

Graphic photos taken after the blast show the injured with blood all over their faces.

The cabinet members, including Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, were not harmed and were transferred to the city’s presidential palace, according to Reuters.

Yemen’s new government was sworn in just last Saturday. Led by Abdulmalik, it includes members of opposing factions in Yemeni politics, and is supposed to represent a national push for unity in the war-torn country. The creation of the new unity government was backed by Saudi Arabia, to the point that the cabinet members were sworn in in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, instead of Aden, Yemen’s temporary capital amid the ongoing civil war.

The new government was the result of a political alliance between the Saudi-aligned Cabinet of Yemen, ultimately headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Southern Transitional Council, a UAE-supported faction. In the ongoing civil war, both groups stand against the Iranian-backed rebel Houthi movement, which controls the north of the country.

The hostilities, together with the Saudi-led coalition bombings launched against the Houthis since 2015, have resulted in the region having the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” according to the UN.

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