Blasts hit Aden hotel used by Yemeni PM

Khaled Bahah not hurt in attack on government headquarters, but 15 soldiers from Arab coalition and allies killed.

A hotel in Yemen’s second city of Aden which Khaled Bahah, the prime minister and vice president, and members of the government are using as a base has been hit by blasts.

Government officials said Bahah was not hurt in Tuesday morning’s attack, but the official Emirati news agency reported the death of 15 soldiers from the Arab coalition and its Yemeni allies.

Residents told the Reuters news agency that unidentified assailants had fired missiles at al-Qasr Hotel, which is located in Aden’s western suburbs.

Government sources told Al Jazeera there were no casualties and that the Yemeni cabinet would convene within hours for its regular daily meeting.

The sources confirmed that Bahah and cabinet members were unharmed.

A photograph posted on Twitter shows Bahah and his team being evacuated following the hotel attack.

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One missile appeared to have been fired at the hotel’s gate, they said.

A second missile landed nearby, while a third fell in Aden’s Buraiqah district, an area housing Gulf Arab troops of the Arab coalition, residents said.

A video uploaded on social media shows the impact of one of the blasts that targeted the residence of Sheikh Saleh Farid, where reports suggest coalition soldiers are stationed.

Some reports spoke of rocket-propelled grenades being used.

Al-Qasr Hotel has been the headquarters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government since his return to Yemen.

The hotel has been guarded by troops from the UAE, one of the key members of the Arab coalition that has been fighting since March to end Houthi control of Yemen and restore Hadi to power in the capital, Sanaa.

The UAE condemned the attack and suggested it was carried out by the Houthis and their main local ally, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Anwar Gargash, UAE junior foreign minister, said on Twitter that the attack was further proof that the Houthis and Saleh were determined to destroy Yemen.

He also said the “ïnitial information is reassuring”, suggesting that there may not have been Emirati casualties.

Moments after the blasts on Tuesday morning, AFP news agency reported smoke rising from al-Qasr Hotel.

Ambulances and civil defence forces were on the scene, witnesses said, adding that the rockets hit the entrance of the hotel.

Bahah and his ministers were installed in Aden – declared Yemen’s provisional capital after it was taken back from Iran-allied Shia Houthi fighters in mid-July – after they spent six months in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies