Aug 23, 12:15 PM EDT

Thousands of Yemenis stranded after Saudis close airport



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SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemen's Transportation Ministry says 7,600 Yemenis are unable to return home after a Saudi-led military coalition ordered the closure of the international airport amid stepped-up airstrikes against Shiite Houthi rebels.

The rebel-controlled ministry said Tuesday that many were receiving medical treatment abroad and in neighboring Arab countries.

The Saudi-led coalition grounded flights into and out of the rebel-held capital earlier this month as it launched a wave of airstrikes following the breakdown of peace talks. The coalition launched a military campaign in support of Yemen's internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The government is based in the southern port city of Aden, where the airport is still open for international travel.

Relief agencies have urged the reopening of Sanaa's airport, saying the closure puts millions of people at risk.

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