At least three people were killed and 21 wounded Thursday in fierce clashes in and around the airport in Aden, a port city in Yemen, officials told CNN.
Supporters of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi were fighting with rebel special forces, according to three airport officials.
Passengers were stranded at the airport with flights cancelled throughout the day.
The clashes were reported to be taking place on four different fronts in the airport and a surrounding military base.
Some of the wounded were in a critical condition and the clashes were intensifying, the officials said, suggesting the death toll could rise.
Hadi escaped from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, last month after being put under house arrest following his resignation under pressure from Houthi rebels.
He fled to Aden and released a statement declaring he is still President of Yemen.
The Houthis, a minority rebel group that holds sway in the nation’s north but has less influence elsewhere, entered Sanaa in September, demanding a greater share of political power.
They took control over a period of months, seizing the presidential palace in January. The unrest has plunged Yemen deeper into chaos.
The clashes in Aden erupted after the Special Forces commander there, Abdul Hafez Al Saqqaf, who is loyal to the Houthis and former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, ordered hundreds of his troops to create checkpoints at all roads leading to the airport.
Hadi had issued a presidential decree replacing Al Saqqaf two weeks ago, but the decree was not implemented.