Rival factions clash at Aden airport-witnesses

ADEN, May 31 (Reuters) - Fighters loyal to rival factions in Aden, seat of Yemen’s internationally-recognised government, traded gun and rocket-fire for nearly three hours at the city’s airport over Tuesday night, witnesses said.

One combatant was killed, they said. The clash ended when other forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition intervened, a security official said.

The incident indicated the government’s inability to enforce order nearly two years after it recaptured the southern port city from its foes in the Iranian-backed Houthi movement.

Militias and shadowy armed groups have proliferated in Aden since then, though internal clashes has been rare as fighters have mostly focused on securing the city from attacks by the local branch of Islamic State.

The airport hosts infrequent flights from the national carrier Yemenia since it was refurbished and reopened in July last year after suffering war damage.

The Yememi government, led by the exiled President Abd-rabbu Mansour Hadi and backed by a mostly Gulf Arab coalition, has been locked in a civil war with the Houthis that has killed more than 10,000 people and plunged the country into a humanitarian crisis. The Houthis hold the capital Sanaa.

Reporting By Mohammed Mukhashaf, Writing by Noah Browning, Editing by Angus MacSwan