Yemeni air gateway closed following blasts

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Car Rental News - 31/10/2011


Yemen’s primary international airport is closed after explosions rocked an adjoining air force base.

Numerous blasts were heard on Sunday at al-Daylami air force base, which sits adjacent to Sanaa International Airport, according to area residents and eyewitnesses. Inbound flights were then quickly rerouted to nearby Aden Airport in the country’s south and operations at Sanaa were halted.

The event comes amid ongoing violence sparked early in the year when protestors demanded that the country’s longstanding president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, step down after 33 years in office. Since then clashes between supporters and protestors continue to shake the country and Mr Saleh remains in power despite calls from the UN Security Council for him to step down.

Witnesses said that they had seen at least one shell strike the air base, whereas a Yemeni aviation official was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying that four explosions had rocked the facility, destroying two military aircraft. The reports came less than 24 hours after tribal officials had reported that shelling had killed four people in the Arhab region just north of Sanaa.

Meanwhile Sanaa International Airport will remain closed and flights in and out of Yemen will use Aden Airport in the foreseeable future, officials said.

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