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Yemeni President Hadi returns to Aden after months of exile

Since March, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi sought refuge in Saudi Arabia after Houthi rebels stormed southward, capturing Yemen's capital.

By Fred Lambert
Yemeni President Hadi returns to Aden after months of exile
Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi addresses the United Nations at the 67th UN General Assembly in in New York City on Sept. 26, 2012. On Tuesday, Hadi returned to the southern Yemeni port city of Aden after nearly six month of exile in Saudi Arabia. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi returned to the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on Tuesday after months of exile in Saudi Arabia, security officials said.

Airport and security officials told reporters a plane carrying Hadi landed in Aden on Tuesday.

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Last week, Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah arrived in Aden with several cabinet members in a bid to re-establish government authority in the port city. Hadi's son, who is head of the president's special guard, is also reported to have arrived recently to assess the security situation before his father's return.

Since March, Hadi had sought refuge in Saudi Arabia after Houthi rebels stormed in from Yemen's north, seizing the capital, Sanaa, before advancing on Aden.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, led an international coalition that began conducting regular airstrikes against the Shiite rebels in a bid to restore Hadi to power.

Yemen's transport minister, interior minister, chief of intelligence and deputy speaker of Parliament were reported to have returned to Aden after pro-government forces recaptured the city in July with the help of ground forces from the Saudi-led coalition. Hadi had remained in Riyadh at the time, ordering the delegation to prepare the country for a revival of state institutions.

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Residents of the city have since complained about armed militants suspected of belonging to al-Qaida and the Islamic State roaming the streets.

After capturing Aden, pro-Hadi forces and coalition troops advanced northward toward Sanaa but were recently stalled in the Marib province, east of the capital.

Hadi's return Tuesday coincides with reports of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killing at least 20 people in Sanaa. Xinhua news agency quoted a rescuer at the scene as saying the dead were civilians, mostly women and children, but the BBC quoted a security source as saying the strike mainly killed Houthi rebels.

According to the United Nations, the conflict in Yemen has cost the lives of more than 4,900 people, including 2,100 civilians, since late March.

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