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Friday, May 26, 2017

Plane blows up at Yemen air force base: report

A "mysterious" blast ripped through a Yemeni military plane at a air force base near Sanaa international airport on Sunday without causing any casualties, an airport technician told AFP.

"An Antonov aircraft blew up in mysterious circumstances while it was on the tarmac at Dulaimi air force base," the technician said, adding that no one was reported hurt in the explosion.

"There are no casualties as a result of the explosion, and the reasons for it are still unknown," he added.

Last year overnight blasts rocked the air base adjacent to the international airport, destroying three Yemeni fighter jets and damaging several others.

Officials said that the October 30 blasts were apparently caused by explosives planted on the warplanes.

"Unknown assailants appear to have planted explosive devices in the fighter jets which were loaded with ammunition in preparation for a combat mission planned for Monday morning," a military official said at the time.

The military official told AFP that the planes had been due to fly a combat mission over the Arhab region, the northern gateway to the capital Sanaa, just 40 kilometres (25 miles) south.

There were no reports of casualties or claims of responsibility for last year's explosions.

Sunday's blast came as fierce clashes between the Yemeni army and Al-Qaeda in the restive south killed at least 30 soldiers and 12 militants, medics and officials said.

Last year's explosions came amid nationwide protests aimed at forcing the departure of strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Last month the president finally stepped down and handed over power to his former deputy, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, in line with a Gulf-brokered transition deal.

by Fawaz al-Haidari © 2012 AFP

Source : AFP

Published on ASDNews: Mar 4, 2012


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