March 19, 2015 / 6:14 PM / 3 years ago

Yemeni president accuses former regime of attempted coup

ADEN (Reuters) - Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi described an attack on his palace in the southern port city of Aden on Thursday as an attempted coup backed by the previous regime.

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi attends a meeting with local officials in the southern port city of Aden March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

The fighting on the ground and a subsequent air attack appeared to be part of a deepening power struggle between Hadi and the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi group, which controls the capital Sanaa and is allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“The failure of the military coup...was backed by the former regime, which was one of the perpetrators of extermination, murder and displacement,” Hadi said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday, an warplane attacked the presidential palace in Aden where Hadi has been based since being pushed out of the capital Sanaa in the north by Houthi rebels.

The statement made no reference to Saleh but said that “agents of Iran” had also backed the former regime’s forces.

“What happened today is a clear message to the whole world that the coup and their supporters of traitors reject any solutions or sit at the dialogue table in order to exit the crisis of Yemen to safety,” Hadi said.

Thirteen people were killed on Thursday when forces loyal to Hadi fought their way into Aden’s international airport and wrested an adjacent military base from a renegade officer.

Reporting by Mohamed Mukhashaf and Mohamed Ghobari; Writing by Amena Bakr; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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