Sanaa airport reopens after armed takeover | News | DW | 08.04.2012
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Sanaa airport reopens after armed takeover

Sanaa airport has been reopened and flights have resumed, a day after loyalists to the former Yemeni president occupied the tarmac with tanks and armored vehicles.

The airport in the Yemeni capital reopened on Sunday after it was shut down by gunmen loyal to former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, security officials said.

"The airport has opened after we have received reassurances from the air force that there will be no threats to aviation," an aviation official told AFP news agency.

Armed supporters of the former president's half brother, General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, surrounded the airport late on Friday, occupying the tarmac with tanks and armored vehicles.

Ahmar, who was fired by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, has refused to step down. He reportedly told his troops that he would cede power only if the defense minister and other senior military officials step down as well.

The UN Security Council on Thursday passed a resolution expressing concern over recent events in Yemen, where Saleh loyalists are accused of hindering the transition of power. Hadi was elected in uncontested polls in February after Saleh resigned after 33 years in power under a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Meanwhile a US drone fired on a vehicle carrying eight suspected al Qaeda militants in the eastern province of Shabwa, a tribal chief said on Sunday. All the passengers in the vehicle were reportedly killed in the strike.

acb/pfd (AP, AFP)