A large explosion struck the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Wednesday, moments after a plane carrying the newly-formed internationally-recognised Yemeni government arrived in Yemen’s temporary capital city from Saudi Arabia.
Landing at the airport, the plane carrying the newly-formed Yemeni Cabinet was welcomed with loud blasts and gunfire as it landed at the airport, security officials said. The blast has killed at least 22 people so far and wounded 50. While the actual culprits behind the attack are yet to be known, some officials charged this as a "cowardly" attack by Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
All government ministers were unharmed. AP footage from the explosions at the airports showed members of the government delegation disembarking as the blasts shook the grounds. Many of these ministers rushed back into the plane, seeking shelter.
As smoke billowed out of the airport terminal from the first blast, with debris strewn across the area and people rushing to tend to the wounded, a second explosion took place.
Yemen’s embattled 75-year-old President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in exile in Saudi Arabia, announced earlier this month, a reshuffling of the Cabinet.
This reshuffle was seen as a major step toward closing a dangerous conflict between Hadi’s government and southern separatists backed by the United Arab Emirates.
The Saudi-backed government is at war with Iran-allied Houthi rebels, who control most of northern Yemen as well as the country’s earlier capital, Sanaa.
Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, has been devastated by a decades-long civil war. The was consists of several distinct parts - Houthis vs. the Saudi-led coalition, Houthis against Yemeni Sunnis, an anti-terrorism campaign, and a Saudi-Iranian proxy war. With victory in any of these wars shifty, the actual loss lies with the Yemeni people enduring the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.