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Friday, 18 June 2021

UN points to Yemen's Houthis for December attack on Aden airport

'Three explosions occurred... minutes after a plane carrying Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, members of his 'unity' cabinet and other senior government officials had landed, the report said

AFP , Wednesday 31 Mar 2021
Aden, Yemen
FILE PHOTO: A security personnel and people react during an attack on Aden airport moments after a plane landed carrying a newly formed cabinet for government-held parts of Yemen, in Aden, Yemen December 30, 2020. REUTERS
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A deadly attack on December 30, 2020 on Aden airport in Yemen was carried out with missiles similar to those possessed by Houthi rebels and fired from locations under their control, according to a report submitted to the UN Security Council.

The attack killed about 20 people, including the deputy minister of public works, and injured more than 100 people.

"Three explosions occurred... minutes after a plane carrying Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, members of his 'unity' cabinet and other senior government officials had landed," the report said.

"The airport was hit by three precision-guided, short-distance, surface-to-surface ballistic missiles carrying fragmentation warheads, likely an extended-range version of the Badr-1P missile, which has been part of the Houthi arsenal since 2018."

The Houthis on Wednesday rejected the report.

"Any report on Yemen... issued without an independent committee is rejected," Houthi political commander Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said Wednesday.

He added it "is unrealistic, biased, and lacks credibility".

The missiles were an attempt to hit the plane carrying government officials, as well as the VIP lounge, where a press conference had been planned.

They were fired from "facilities were under the control of the Houthi forces at the time of the attacks," said a summary of the confidential investigative report obtained on Tuesday by AFP.

A last-minute decision to park the plane further away from the terminal building, as well as a delay in passengers disembarking, prevented further casualties, it said.

The southern port city of Aden is Yemen's de facto capital, where the internationally recognised government is based after being routed from Sanaa in the north by Houthi rebels.

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