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Rebel attack destroys Yemeni MiG-29s, closes Sanaa airport

Special to WorldTribune.com

CAIRO — The opposition has destroyed fighter-jets of the
Yemeni Air Force.

In the first such operation, rebels shelled an Air Force base in Sanaa
on late Oct. 30.

The Yemeni Defense Ministry acknowledged that two
fighter-jets were destroyed and the nearby Sanaa International Airport was
forced to close.

Accounts of the attack varied. The Defense Ministry said the rebels
fired mortars that struck the Duleimi air base. Later, officials said the
rebels had infiltrated Duleimi and planted bombs in the aircraft, which had
already been loaded with munitions for a combat mission on Oct. 31.

“Three aircraft were destroyed and others were damaged,” an official
said.

The official said the aircraft included Yemen’s MiG-29, the most modern
warplane in the Air Force. He said the aircraft was meant to attack the
Arhab region, about 40 kilometers south of Sanaa and dominated by rebels.

It was not clear how long Sanaa International Airport would be closed.
So far, the government has diverted incoming flights to the southern port of
Aden.

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