Yemen's president flees his house in Aden as rebels advance
Yemen's embattled president fled his palace in Aden for an undisclosed location yesterday as Shiite rebels offered cash bounty for his capture and arrested his defence minister.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi left just hours after the rebels' own television station said they seized an airbase where US troops and Europeans advised the country in its fight against al-Qaida militants. That airbase is only 60 kilometres (35 miles) away from Aden, the port city where Hadi had established a temporary capital.
The advance of the Shiite rebels, empowered by backing of the ousted Yemeni autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh's loyalists, threatens to plunge the Arab world's poorest country into a civil war that could draw in its Gulf neighbours. Already, Hadi has asked the United Nations to authorise a foreign military intervention in the country.
Witnesses said they saw a convoy of presidential vehicles yesterday leaving Hadi's palace, located at the top of a hill in Aden overlooking the Arabian Sea.