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Yemeni president declares Aden provisional capital

Yemeni president declares Aden provisional capital

United Nations: A senior UN official on Sunday told the UN Security Council that Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi has arrived in Aden, the second biggest city of the country, and declared the city the provisional Yemeni capital, after his residence was targeted in airstrikes.

UN Special Adviser Jamal Benomar made the statement as he was briefing the council via a video link from Doha, capital of Qatar, at an emergency council meeting at the request of the Yemeni president, Xinhua reported.

Hadi and his government have made Aden, the port city, their provisional capital, Benomar said.

Also at the council meeting, the Yemeni representative told the Security Council that rebel militants staged a coup against the constitutionally elected president after their occupation of the capital Sanaa.

In his first speech since fleeing Sanaa, the president denounced on Saturday the rebel occupation as "a coup against constitutional legitimacy" and declared Aden as the country's " temporary capital".

On Saturday, Hadi called on the Houthi militants to leave the capital of Sanaa and urged their allies to withdraw from government ministries in Sanaa.

The Shia Houthi group took over control of Sanaa in September and met strong resistance in the central and southern regions by powerful Sunni tribes and Sunni-dominated Al Qaeda network.

On Thursday, the Yemeni president was forced to flee his presidential palace after two fighter planes targeted his residence in Aden, reports said.

Tensions have been building in Aden for days. Hadi loyalists dominate the city, but two army units are loyal to Saqqaf, a pro-Saleh commander, who leads a force of 3,000 special forces police. Hadi unsuccessfully tried to remove al-Saqqaf from his post earlier this month, prompting some clashes.

Yemen is the base of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a powerful offshoot of the jihadi militant group that has carried out similar suicide attacks on Houthi supporters.

However, the terrorist group Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIL or ISIS, is also gaining ground in the country.

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