The explosion at an airport in Aden, Yemen that left 25 dead and 110 injured Wednesday was part of a plan by Iran-sponsored rebels to eradicate the country’s new government as it arrived in the city, Yemen’s prime minister claimed to the Associated Press on Saturday.

“It’s a major terrorist attack that was meant to eliminate the government,” Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed told the Associated Press in his first interview with international media since the incident. “It was a message against peace and stability in Yemen.” (RELATED: At Least 22 Dead, 50 Wounded After Unknown Explosion At Yemen Airport)

Saeed maintained his government’s allegations that the Houthis were behind the missile attack on the airport and a subsequent drone assault on the Mashiq Palace in Aden that houses Saeed’s office after he and his cabinet were escorted there following the missile strike. The “techniques” used in the airport missile attack resembled Houthi strategy, he told the AP.

Houthi officials, however, have denied responsibility for the attack, pointing the blame towards unspecified groups in the Saudi-led coalition, the AP reported. 

They have not responded to the AP’s request for comment, nor have they provided proof for their assertions, according to the news agency.

The new Yemeni government was established in December 2020, according to the news agency, to end a political rift with UAE-backed southern separatists that could have jeopardized the Emirates’ partnership with Saudi Arabia in their half-a-decade war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Before December, Riyadh had served as the home base for Yemen’s government during the country’s years-long civil war. 

The attack took place when the new government was flown in from Riyadh after some of the southern separatists were sworn into the new government. 

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