Ye­meni sep­a­ratists sur­round pres­i­den­tial palace in Aden

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Aden, Ye­men - Sep­a­ratists in war-rav­aged Ye­men have sur­rounded the pres­i­den­tial palace in the gov­ern­ment’s de facto cap­i­tal Aden, mov­ing closer on Tues­day to tak­ing full con­trol of the south­ern city.

The gov­ern­ment has ac­cused the sep­a­ratists of at­tempt­ing a coup in Aden, where more than 36 peo­ple have been killed in clashes that opened yet an­other front in the coun­try’s dev­as­tat­ing con­flict. The south­ern port city has served as the gov­ern­ment’s base since 2014 af­ter the Iran­backed Houthi rebels - who hail from north­ern Ye­men - took con­trol of the cap­i­tal Sanaa in their fight against the state.

While Pres­i­dent Abedrabbo Man­sour Hadi now re­sides in Riyadh, two mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said Prime Min­is­ter Ahmed bin Dagher and a num­ber of senior gov­ern­ment fig­ures were holed up in the Aden pres­i­den­tial palace. For three years, Hadi’s ad­min­is­tra­tion was al­lied with the sep­a­ratists, driv­ing the Houthi rebels out of the south and back into their strongholds in the north.

But ten­sion be­tween the al­lies be­gan to sur­face in April when Hadi dis­missed a cab­i­net min­is­ter and the Aden gov­er­nor, re­flect­ing di­vi­sions among his sup­port­ers. Ten­sions boiled over into clashes be­tween the sep­a­ratists and pro-gov­ern­ment forces on Sun­day, fu­elling chaos

in the coun­try.

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