Yemen crisis: China evacuates citizens and foreigners from Aden – BBC News

China’s navy has evacuated 225 foreign nationals and almost 600 Chinese citizens from Yemen‘s southern port of Aden, amid fierce fighting there.

Chinese navy receives evacuees from Aden, 2 Apr 15

China says it is the first time its military has rescued foreign nationals from a danger zone.

Houthi rebels in the city have been fighting troops loyal to ousted Yemeni President, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

On Friday, the rebels withdrew from the presidential palace, following Saudi-led air strikes.

Over the past two weeks, fighting in Yemen has left more than 500 people dead and some 1,700 wounded, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said.

Warplanes have dropped weapons and medical aid to fighters defending Aden

This week, Shia Houthi rebels pushed through to the heart of Aden using tanks and armoured vehicles.

But on Friday they were forced from the Crater neighbourhood and the presidential palace they overran the day before.

Saudi-backed fighters loyal to Mr Hadi also say they received an airdrop of arms supplies from coalition planes.

Elsewhere in Yemen, a military base in the south-eastern port city of Mukalla was taken over by al-Qaeda militants on Friday. It happened a day after fighters broke into the town’s jail freeing prisoners.

A military official said al-Qaeda “took the headquarters of the 2nd Military Region in the afternoon without resistance”.

Chinese naval frigates were carrying out anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia when they were diverted to Yemen to evacuate people trapped by the fighting.

The evacuees were taken by naval frigates across the Red Sea to Djibouti, to take flights home.

The non-Chinese evacuees included 176 people from Pakistan, said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. There were smaller numbers from other countries, including Ethiopia, Singapore, the UK, Italy and Germany.

Ms Hua said it was the first time China had helped evacuate foreign citizens – and only the second time that China has used warships to evacuate its own citizens from a conflict zone, says the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.

via Yemen crisis: China evacuates citizens and foreigners from Aden – BBC News.

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