A huge explosion on Wednesday hit a main airport in the city of Aden, in war-devastated Yemen, shortly after the arrival of members of the new government from Saudi Arabia, witnesses said.

The blast took place shortly after a plane carrying members of the government landed at the Aden airport, they told dpa.

The cause or the result of the explosion was not immediately known.

However, Mokhtar al-Rahbi, an adviser at the Yemeni Information Ministry, blamed southern separatists for the blast.

On Saturday, Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi swore in the new government that was formed under a power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia in 2019.

The 24-strong government includes members of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) as part of a bid to end a power struggle between loyalists to Hadi and secessionists.

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The STC, formed in 2017, is backed by the United Arab Emirates, while Hadi’s government is backed by Saudi Arabia.

Both are part of a Saudi-led coalition formed in 2015 to fight the Iran-linked Houthi rebels, who have taken control of the capital Sana’a and other cities in northern Yemen since late 2014.

Yemen’s conflict has pushed the Arab country to the brink of famine and devastated its health facilities.


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