Houthi jets bombard Yemeni presidential palace

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Aden, March 19 (IANS) Fighter jets of the Shia Houthi rebels bombarded Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s palace here on Thursday, but there were no casualties, media reported.

“The military warplane fired one rocket on a building inside the republican palace in Aden, only causing material damages, without any casualties,” an official said, according to a Xinhua report.

“Anti-aircraft weapons were used to expel the military jets that came from Sanaa, flying over Hadi’s residence in Aden,” the source said.

The president was evacuated to a safe place, he added.

“I can confirm that a fighter jet dropped a bomb or fired a missile in the vicinity of the presidential palace in Aden, no casualties,” said a source close to the president.

Hadi, who fled to Aden in late February after escaping house arrest by the Shia Houthi rebels who control capital Sanaa, later resumed presidential duties in the city.

Minister of Defence Mahmoud al-Subaihi, who fled house arrest by the Houthis earlier this month, was seen at the Badr military base near the airport to lead the army operation against the forces believed to be loyal to the Houthis, according to an army officer.

The Houthi-led Supreme Security Committee in Sanaa issued a statement through the official Saba news agency, calling for halting clashes in Aden. It said that the country was on the brink of civil war and urged all parties to return to dialogue.