KUALA LUMPUR: Two RMAF Hercules C130 aircraft have been delpoyed to evacuate Malaysians from Yemen amid the escalating violence, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday.
The Defence Minister said one aircraft has arrived in Djibouti and another dispatched to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He said the government was still working to evacuate 67 Malaysian students who were in Yemen’s seaport city of Aden to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia before they could be flown home via a commercial aircraft.
“Our focus is now on the students in Aden. All the agencies involved are monitoring the situation in Aden very closely,” Hishammuddin told reporters at the second session of the Armed Forces Order of Military Service ceremony for 2014 at Wisma Perwira here.
He added that so far, a total of 260 Malaysian students had been evacuated home via several commercial flights.
Hishammuddin said more than 276 Malaysians had been evacuated from Hadramawt, with 107 already flown back to Malaysia, and another 169 awaiting to be flown home.
He also said that another 193 Malaysians were expected to be evacuated via five buses on Tuesday from Hadramawt to Salalah, Oman.
According to reports, aid agencies warned of a growing humanitarian crisis including food shortages in Yemen as Saudi-led warplanes hit rebel positions for a third week and rival forces clashed.
Yemen’s main southern city of Aden saw the heaviest fighting overnight, with medics and military forces saying at least 30 people were killed in clashes between rebels and supporters of exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.