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Russian plane flies to Yemen to evacuate citizens

April 02, 2015, 11:54 UTC+3 CAIRO

On Wednesday, the plane was banned from flying to Yemen despite a preliminary agreement

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© AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

CAIRO, April 2. /TASS/. A Russian plane has flow from Egypt to Yemen’s capital Sanaa to evacuate Russian nationals from the country, the Russian Embassy in Yemen told TASS on Thursday.

"The plane flew from Cairo to evacuate embassy personnel and others who want to leave the country where military actions are underway," the embassy said.

Cairo International Airport told TASS that the plane will make a stop in Cairo on its way back for refueling. "It will most likely happen later today," an airport spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, reports said the plane sent to evacuate Russian nationals from Yemen was waiting in the Cairo airport for permission to fly to Sanaa. Despite preliminary agreements, Saudi Arabia refused to let the plane through.

Rebels attack and loot Russian Consulate General in Aden

Meanwhile, the Russian Consulate General in Aden was attacked and looted by Shiite rebels. According to the Huna Aden news portal, armed groups of Houthi rebels and allies of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh attacked on Wednesday the Consulate General, breaking the doors open, seizing property and office equipment. Eyewitnesses say the attackers took equipment and documents out of the building, loaded them into vehicles and drove away.

Earlier reports said the Russian Consulate General in Aden had been damaged in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. Sources in Aden say that reportedly there were no diplomats in the building during the attack. The Russian Embassy to Yemen has refused to comment on the situation to TASS, saying only that the embassy has been working in an emergency mode for the past three days.

Crisis in Yemen

Since August 2014, Yemen has been hit by a severe political and security crisis. In late January, the armed groups of Ansar Allah (Houthi rebels) forced the president and the government to announce resignation.

The rebels later took control of the country’s capital and several northern provinces. They also announced the adoption of the so-called constitutional declaration.

Overnight to March 26, Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in the neighboring country and delivered air strikes at several Houthi positions.

Pro-government forces regained control of the Aden airport, while Yemeni President Abd Rabbah Mansur Hadi fled the country to Saudi Arabia.

The coalition is currently considering launching a ground operation in Yemen to oust Houthis.

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