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Explosion at airport kills at least 16 in Yemen

n explosion at a Yemen airport on Wednesday following the arrival of a plane carrying the country’s newly-formed Cabinet killed at least 16 people and injured about 60 others.

According to The Associated Press, none of the passengers on the government plane that landed in the city of Aden were hurt, though AP footage from the scene showed several of the ministers running back inside the plane or down the stairs looking for shelter from the blast.

The AP reported that the explosion’s source was not immediately clear, with no group immediately claiming responsibility.

Explosions rip through Aden Airport just as members of new Gov. arrive on tarmac, are exiting plane.

Officials at the scene reportedly saw bodies on the tarmac and throughout the airport as smoke spread out near the terminal building.

One plane passenger, Yemeni Communication Minister Naguib al-Awg, told the AP that he heard two explosions, adding that he suspected the explosion was the result of an attack.

“It would have been a disaster if the plane was bombed,” he told the newswire.

One Yemeni official, who like others spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said three Red Cross workers were among those injured in the blast, though it was not clear if they were citizens of Yemen.

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, released a statement on Twitter to “strongly condemn” the attack.

“I wish the Cabinet strength in facing the difficult tasks ahead,” Griffiths added. “This unacceptable act of violence is a tragic reminder of the importance of bringing #Yemen urgently back on the path towards peace.”

The government ministers were sworn into their positions last week following a deal with Yemen’s southern separatists amid the country’s years-long civil war.

Yemen’s government has been working in a self-imposed exile in the Saudi capital of Riyadh throughout the conflict.

Earlier this month, Yemeni president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi announced a reshuffling of the government in which the incumbent prime minister, Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, would keep his job while 24 ministerial posts would have nearly equal representation of both northerners and southerners, the AP reported.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1344231348282810368

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