Yemen government blames separatists for Aden clashes

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Fighters from the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) drive their pick up in Aden on Thursday. (AFP)
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Smoke rises during clashes in Aden, Yemen Thursday. (Reuters)
Updated 08 August 2019

Yemen government blames separatists for Aden clashes

  • One person killed as southern separatists and presidential guards clash for a second day
  • Government says fighting 'threatens security and stability'

ADEN: Southern separatists and presidential guards fought for a second day on Thursday in Aden, with at least one person killed, residents said.

That followed three deaths and nine injuries when gunfire erupted between the rivals on Wednesday.

The separatists are nominally allied with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in a coalition battling the Iran-aligned Houthis. But they have rival agendas for Yemen and the separatists accused a Hadi-allied party of complicity in an attack last week on their soldiers.

Hadi’s internationally recognized government Thursday blamed the separatist leaders for the flare up that “threatened the safety and stability of citizens and security and stability in general.”

After Wednesday’s  funeral for some of the troops killed in last week’s missile strike on a parade, separatist supporters fought with guards near the hilltop presidential palace in the Crater district of the southern port city, witnesses said.

Thursday's fatality came when fighting flared again and a stray bullet hit a man walking in the street, witnesses and his relatives said. Sounds of gunfire and heavy weaponry echoed into the evening while smoke and fire could be seen rising.

The UN envoy for Yemen and a senior UAE official have both called for calm in the city.


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLIGHT

Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.