ADEN, October 2 (Reuters) – Clashes raged in the Yemeni city of Aden on Saturday between members of the Southern Transitional Separatist Council (STC) and at least four fighters were killed, two security sources said.
Residents said heavy gunfire could still be heard midday in the central Aden Crater district, which is home to the seat of government and the central bank. The port city has experienced tensions between the internationally recognized government and the STC over control of the south of the country.
The prime minister of the Saudi-backed government returned to Aden last week from Saudi Arabia and is residing at the Presidential Palace in Crater with other government ministers. The Yemeni president is based in Riyadh.
“We ask the citizens of Crater to stay in their homes for the next few hours as security and counterterrorism forces cleanse the town of certain … outlaw elements,” the Belt Force unit said. JTS security in a Twitter message.
South Yemen has been crippled by the power struggle between the government and the UAE-backed STC, which has led to protests in recent months over widespread poverty and poor public services. Read more
They are nominal allies as part of a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that toppled the government in the capital Sana’a in late 2014 and now holds most of the northern Yemen and major urban centers.
Saudi Arabia has negotiated a deal to end the standoff between the government and the STC, including the formation of a new cabinet that includes separatists, but a planned troop redeployment has yet to take place .
The coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis but the conflict dragged on, killing tens of thousands and pushing the country to the brink of famine.
Reporting by Reyam Mokhashef Writing by Ghaida Ghantous Editing by Frances Kerry
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