SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Yemeni official says gunmen loyal to the country’s ousted president have attacked the airport, forcing authorities to shut it down.

The official says armed tribesmen and troops in uniform driving pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns opened fire on one tower at the airport and destroyed it on Saturday. Authorities canceled flights, the official said.

The attack comes a day after Yemen’s new president fired some of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s loyalists including his half brother, the Air Force commander Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar. Aides say he remains in his post and will not follow orders.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.