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Yemen's pro-government coalition fractures as separatists seize control in Aden

Yemen's pro-government coalition fractures as separatists seize control in Aden”

The sources, requesting not to be named, told Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network that Yemeni security forces had managed to capture 80 percent of the members of the cell, adding that they are undergoing an in-depth investigation.

The violence in Aden has complicated the United Nations' efforts to end a four-year war that has killed tens of thousands and pushed the poorest Arabian Peninsula nation to the brink of starvation.

"What is happening in the temporary (government) capital of Aden by the Southern Transitional Council is a coup against institutions of the internationally recognised government", the foreign ministry said in a Twitter post.

The UAE, which has armed and trained thousands of southern separatist fighters, earlier called for calm and a renewed focus on battling the Iran-backed Houthis, who took over the capital Sanaa in 2014.

Security officials said most of the authorities in Hadi's government, including Interior Minister Ahmed Maisari and top military officials, turned themselves over to coalition forces to avoid being captured or killed by separatists.

The action has fractured the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels that both sides have fought in.

The sources further noted that the detainees had confessed to having affiliation with the Saudi intelligence agency, and said they had received orders from a militia leader when former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was in power.

The internationally recognized Yemeni government has accused Braik of provocations and has called on the Saudi and UAE governments to force the separatists to stop their attacks.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed called on United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths, who is trying to de-escalate tensions across Yemen, "to deploy efforts and exert pressure" to that objective.

The Norwegian Refugee Council issued a statement about the situation: "The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is extremely concerned for the safety of its staff and civilians trapped in their homes after fighting broke out in Yemen's southern port city of Aden".

Separately, the Houthis' Al-Masirah TV quoted a military spokesman as saying the group had launched a drone attack against Saudi Arabia's civilian Abha airport, targeting the fuel depot and control tower. "It ends the exclusivity of the Houthis being the coup against Hadi", Farea al-Muslimi, associate fellow at Chatham House, told Reuters. The Houthis say their revolution is against corruption.



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