Yemeni authorities said at least 22Â people were killed and 50 wounded in an attack on Adenâ€™s airport as members of the countryâ€™s newly formed unity government arrived from Saudi Arabiaâ€™s capitalÂ Wednesday.Â
An explosion struck the airport and gunfire broke out as people gathered on the nearby tarmac to witness the arrival of Yemenâ€™s prime minister and newly appointed Cabinet members as they disembarked from a plane after being sworn in earlier this week in Riyadh.
Cabinet members were swept into vehicles and delivered to Adenâ€™s Mashiq Palace. A subsequent explosion was later reported nearby, though no members of the government were reported to have been hurt, according to The Associated Press. An official told the news agency that the airport attack may have been caused by aÂ drone or drones.
Martin Griffiths, the United Nationsâ€™ special envoy for Yemen, and the Arab League condemned the violence. No group has yet claimed credit for the attack.
The New York Times quoted officials and others who said that at least one staff member of the International Committee of the Red Cross was killed, as well as a TV news reporter and deputy transportation minister apparently on hand to witness the Cabinet officials’ arrival.
After years of political divisions, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi last week announced that the governmentâ€™s new CabinetÂ would include members of the separatist Southern Transitional CouncilÂ and the rival Islah party, an Islamist faction long opposed by the council and its main backer, the United Arab Emirates.
The breakthrough was a promising sign in what has long been thought of as an intractable dispute within Yemenâ€™s government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in its flagging fight against the countryâ€™s northern Houthi rebels, who have ties to Iran.
Hadi orderedÂ government officialsÂ to relocate to Aden this week to take their oaths of office.
Saudi Arabiaâ€™s ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed al-Jaber, condemned the attack but said the cooperation agreement brokered by Riyadh would not be broken, the APÂ reported.