Earlier it was reported that Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels had been shelling the residence of the country’s president and were able to gain entry into the presidential palace in the country's capital, while a top military commander warned that a total “coup” was starting.
President Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi was inside the residence as it came under “heavy shelling” for half an hour but he was unharmed and protected by guards, AP cited local officials.
A new wave of rebellion by the anti-government Houthi movement has thrown the country into chaos after militants abducted President Hadi’s chief of staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak last week.
In response to the kidnapping, leaders of Yemen's southern provinces ordered that oil and gas companies in the provinces of Shabwa, Marib, and Hadramaut halt operations.
The Houthis are the main opposition movement in Yemen, and played a major role in ousting the country's former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012. The group staged large-scale protests and occupied a number of cities in 2014, demanding the resignation of the government, which they say is corrupt and has marginalized the Shiite community.
In September 2014, the Houthi insurgency spread over to Yemen's capital Sanaa, and from there militia have advanced into central and western parts of the country.