Four killed in fighting between Yemeni separatists

Residents reported heavy gunfire in Aden's central Crater district that houses government headquarters and the central bank.

 A man chants slogans as he and supporters of the Houthi movement attend a rally to celebrate following claims of military advances by the group near the borders with Saudi Arabia, in Sanaa, Yemen October 4, 2019. (photo credit: MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI/REUTERS)
A man chants slogans as he and supporters of the Houthi movement attend a rally to celebrate following claims of military advances by the group near the borders with Saudi Arabia, in Sanaa, Yemen October 4, 2019.
(photo credit: MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI/REUTERS)

Clashes broke out in the Yemeni city of Aden on Saturday between members of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) and at least four fighters were killed, two security sources said.

Residents reported heavy gunfire in Aden's central Crater district that houses government headquarters and the central bank. The city has seen tension between the internationally recognized government and the STC over control of the south.

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 along with other government ministers. Yemen's president is based in Riyadh.

South Yemen has been paralyzed by the power struggle between the government and the United Arab Emirates-backed STC, leading to protests in recent months over widespread poverty and poor public services.

They are nominal allies under a coalition led by Saudi Arabia which has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that ousted the government from the capital Sanaa in late 2014 and now holds most of northern Yemen and main urban centers.

A YEMENI government fighter fires at Houthi fighters in Marib, Yemen, March 28. (credit: ALI OWIDHA/ REUTERS)A YEMENI government fighter fires at Houthi fighters in Marib, Yemen, March 28. (credit: ALI OWIDHA/ REUTERS)

Saudi Arabia mediated a deal aimed at ending the standoff between the government and the STC, including forming 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 has dragged on, killing tens of thousands and pushing the country to the brink of famine.