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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran condemns deadly attack on Yemen airport

The explosion killed dozens [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 January, 2021

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The airport explosion has killed dozens, and no group or individual has so far claimed responsibility.
Iran condemned a deadly attack on Aden airport in Yemen that killed at least 25 people and wounded 110 on Wednesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned "foreign actors" who have involved themselves in the fray.

"Such acts of violence and the killing of civilians are the result of the mentality of aggressors and occupiers of Yemen, who, in the name of a self-styled coalition, have destroyed the whole of Yemen, and, with their bellicose and secessionist views, have perpetuated the most heinous human crisis in Yemen," he said.

Khatibzadeh urged parties to return to the negotiating table, whilst Yemen's Interior Ministry and the United Arab Emirates-supported Southern Transitional Council (STC) blamed Iran-backed Houthis for the attack.

Houthis have denied responsibility.

The explosion took place as new cabinet members were disembarking from a plane that had landed in Aden just minutes earlier on Wednesday.

AP footage from the scene showed many ministers rushing back inside the plane or running down the stairs, seeking shelter. None of the cabinet members were hurt.

Hours after the blast, the country's internationally recognised government said the Iran-backed Houthi rebels had fired four ballistic missiles at the airport.

Rebel officials have so far not responded to requests from comment and there has been no claim of responsibility for an airport attack.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that Houthi militias stand behind this crime," Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said as the newly reshuffled Cabinet convened for the first time in Aden.

"Intelligence also indicates that some Iranian experts were prepping for such an operation over the last few months," Saeed said on Thursday.

Officials later on Wednesday reported a second explosion, close to a palace in the city where the Cabinet members were taken to following the airport attack.

The Saudi-led coalition, which backs the government side in Yemen's years-long civil war, later shot down a bomb-laden drone that attempted to target the palace, according to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV channel.

"We were supposed to begin by discussing the government program but this is an extraordinary meeting due to yesterday's cowardly and treacherous attack," Saeed said, and asked his ministers to stand up silently for a moment to mourn the victims of the explosion.

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