Explosion reported at Aden airport after plane carrying the new Yemeni government arrived from Saudi Arabia.
A large explosion struck the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Wednesday shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed cabinet landed there, security officials said.
Initial reports said several people were killed and dozens were wounded.
The source of the blast was not immediately clear and no group claimed responsibility for the explosion.
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.
The Houthis 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:
11 mins ago (14:52 GMT)
Saudi condemns attack as ‘cowardly terrorist act’
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen has condemned the attack on the country’s new unity government as a “cowardly terrorist act” whose target is the Yemeni people.
“The targeting of the Yemeni government upon its arrival at Aden airport is a cowardly terrorist act targeting all the Yemeni people, their security, stability and their daily life,” Mohamed al-Jabir said in a tweet.
استهداف الحكومة اليمنية عند وصولها مطار عدن عمل إرهابي جبان يستهدف كل الشعب اليمني وأمنه واستقراره وحياته اليومية، ويؤكد حجم الخيبة والتخبط التي وصل لها صانعو الموت والتدمير نتيجة نجاح تنفيذ اتفاق الرياض وتشكيل الحكومة اليمنية ومباشرتها للبدء في مهامها لخدمة الشعب اليمني.
— محمد ال جابر (@mohdsalj) December 30, 2020
33 mins ago (14:30 GMT)
Turkey condemns attack on Aden airport
Turkey has condemned Wednesday’s attack on members of the newly formed Yemeni government.
“We strongly condemn the heinous attack which took place after the plane carrying the members of new Yemeni government headed by Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed [Ö] landed at Aden Airport,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“We wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives in the attack, convey our condolences to the people of Yemen and wish a speedy recovery to the injured, the ministry said.
— Turkish MFA (@MFATurkey) December 30, 2020
1 hour ago (13:46 GMT)
Government officials unharmed, says information minister
Yemeni Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani said that all the members of the government were safe.
“We assure our great people that members of the government are fine, and we assure you that the cowardly terrorist attack by the Iran-supported Houthi armed group will not deter us from carrying out our patriotic duty,” he said on Twitter.
This is the moment explosions and gunfire were heard at Yemen’s Aden airport shortly after a plane carrying a new unity government arrived from Saudi Arabia. Read more: https://t.co/Bzq2Xqc1y7 pic.twitter.com/NJukRwkWg1
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 30, 2020
1 hour ago (13:44 GMT)
Yemen’s communication minister says plane was the target
Yemeni Communication Minister Naguib al-Awg, who was also on the government plane, told The Associated Press that he heard two explosions, suggesting they were drone attacks.
“It would have been a disaster if the plane was bombed,” he said, insisting the plane was the target of the attack as it was supposed to land earlier.
1 hour ago (13:43 GMT)
‘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 bringing #Yemen urgently back on the path towards peace.”
2/2 Griffiths: I wish the Cabinet strength in facing the difficult tasks ahead. This unacceptable act of violence is a tragic reminder of the importance of bringing #Yemen urgently back on the path towards peace.
— @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) December 30, 2020