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Yemeni Airport Re-Opens After Blasts at Nearby Military Base

November 01, 2011

(Updates with airport re-opening in first paragraph.)

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Yemen’s international airport in the capital, Sana’a, reopened after closing yesterday following explosions at the nearby al-Dailami air force base.

Flights including one from Beirut that was preparing to land at the time of the blasts were redirected to the coastal city of Aden, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) to the south, the independent online publication al-Masdar reported yesterday, citing unidentified aviation officials. Two military aircraft could be seen on fire, Al Jazeera television said.

Protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s, a U.S. ally who has held power for more than three decades, started in January and escalated into violent conflict as tribal and military leaders joined the opposition. The United Nations Security Council, in an Oct. 21 resolution, condemned the violence and urged Saleh to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council- brokered proposal under which he would leave office and elections would be held.

Shelling in Sana’a has continued after the announcement by the government last week that a cease-fire was reached between Saleh’s forces and those of Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the country’s most influential tribal group, and General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, leader of an armored division that defected.

Saleh returned to Yemen on Sept. 23 after receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia for injuries sustained in a June attack on his compound.

--With assistance from Ladane Nasseri in Dubai. Editors: Ben Holland, Digby Lidstone, Karl Maier.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mohammed Hatem in Sana’a at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Louis Meixler at

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