Flights suspended to Yemen's Aden after fighting breaks out
ADEN - Agence France-Presse
Armed members of the separatist Southern Movement secure a street in Yemen's southern port city of Aden March 18, 2015. REUTERS Photo.Air traffic to Yemen's main southern city of Aden was suspended early on March 19 after fighting broke out between supporters and opponents of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, an airport source told AFP.
"Air traffic at Aden airport was suspended and flights cancelled," the source told AFP after the clashes between special forces led by a rebel officer and supporters of the beleaguered president.
Travellers arriving at the international airport early Thursday were told to turn back because of the fighting, which broke out overnight.
"I could not move," one told AFP, saying that access to the airport was blocked by armed men.
The violence came after special forces commander Abdel Hafez al-Saqqaf deployed units on roads in the city, including near the airport.
The Popular Resistance Committees, loyal to Hadi, reacted to their deployment with clashes in various parts of the city, where tensions have been running high.
Hadi fled to Aden last month after escaping from Shiite militia controlling Sanaa, and declared the port city to be Yemen's capital.
Saqqaf has defied a decree by Hadi sacking him and said he will only follow orders from the presidential council in Sanaa, named after Hadi and Prime Minister Khalid Bahah tendered their resignations in January in protest at what critics branded an attempted coup.