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Yemen's Saudi-backed government 'to flee from Aden'


IANS Sanaa
The Saudi-backed Yemen government is preparing to flee from the de facto capital Aden as fighters from the armed wing of a political movement demanding secession for southern Yemen seized large parts of the city after three days of fighting, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.
The Southern Transitional Council (STC) has been seeking secession from the rest of Yemen for years. Until recently it received support from the UAE, causing a fracture in the Saudi-UAE alliance that intervened in Yemen against Houthi rebels that captured the north of the country.
Last week, the STC gave President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government an ultimatum - either dismiss Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr and his cabinet or face being overthrown.
The STC accused Hadi's government of "rampant corruption" resulting in a "deteriorating economic, security and social situation never before witnessed in the history of the south".
At least 36 people have been killed and 185 wounded due to the violence in Aden since Sunday, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In addition, 14 soldiers were killed on Tuesday in a suicide attack by suspected Islamist extremists in southern Yemen, a senior military official said.
The hostilities in Aden erupted early on Sunday when pro-government troops prevented STC supporters from entering the city for a rally.
Separatists have dispatched additional forces from the central province of Marib and the southern province of Abyan, security sources said. The forces from Abyan marched on Aden after clashes with loyalists on the way.
Despite hailing from the south himself, Hadi has lost much of his support to the STC amid Yemen's economic crisis. He currently lives in Saudi Arabia.
Yemen's war has claimed more than 9,200 lives since Saudi Arabia and its military allies joined the conflict in March 2015, triggering what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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First Published: Jan 30 2018 | 3:58 PM IST

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