Separatist southern forces seize Yemen's Aden from Saudi-backed gov't

Separatist southern forces seize Yemen's Aden from Saudi-backed gov't

Separatist southern forces seize Yemen's Aden from Saudi-backed gov't

Separatists surrounded the area around the presidential palace in the southern port city of Aden in fierce battles overnight, security officials said.

The palace is the seat of Yemen's internationally backed government.

Soldiers stand guard as workers unload aid packages from a Saudi air force cargo plane, at an airfield Yemen's province of Marib.

Separatists' forces late on Monday advanced on the presidential palace and captured two military camps near Aden global airport, security sources told AFP news agency.

Fighting broke out when Hadi ignored separatists' demands to fire Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Dagher, accusing him of corruption.

The infighting has killed at least 36 people and injured 185 more, according to the Red Cross.

Global charity Save the Children said it has suspended its humanitarian work in Aden out of fear for the safety of its staff.

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Mr. Hadi was not in Aden when the clashes between his loyalists and the Southern Transitional Council separatists began.

The seizure of the Fourth Brigade is the biggest gain for the separatists since fighting first erupted on Sunday.

The coalition said it would take "all necessary steps to restore security" but has not announced any new operation to help the government in Aden.

Rifts exploded within the US -backed alliance joining Yemen's president and the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels, as forces loyal to each side turned on each other in fierce fighting this week. He was believed to be in Saudi Arabia, where he has spent much of his time for the past three years.

The Yemeni Interior Ministry said that military and security forces that were spread in the streets of Aden, were back to their posts and camps, adding that life returned to normal in several parts of the province, which lately witnessed tension.

Almost three years on, the coalition has failed to achieve its stated aim of restoring the "legitimate" government of Hadi.

Yemen was unified militarily in 1990 after a protracted war, but an active secessionist movement remained in and around Aden ever since, and they appear to have finally found an opening to reassert themselves. Hadi has accused the UAE of taking advantage of Yemen's civil war to boost its own influence in the south of the country.

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