Yemen government takes control of city after separatist clashes

Yemeni fighters loyal to the government backed by the Arab coalition fighting in the country ride in the back of a pickup truck with mounted heavy machine gun. (AFP)
Updated 24 August 2019

Yemen government takes control of city after separatist clashes

  • Fighting between the troops and forces linked to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) broke out in Shabwa on Thursday night
  • At least 11 people have been killed

SANAA: Yemeni government troops took control Saturday of the city of Ataq, two days after deadly clashes between loyalists and southern separatists in the capital of Shabwa province, a pro-government source said.
Fighting between the troops and forces linked to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) broke out in Shabwa on Thursday night, in the latest such confrontation.
At least 11 people have been killed, medical sources told AFP.
Fighters from the Elite Forces, established in 2016 and striving for the independence of southern Yemen, "were forced to retreat after entering a number of government buildings" in Ataq, the source told AFP.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the government troops took control of one of the Elite Forces' military camps.
"Fighting between the two sides has moved to the outskirts of the city," added the source.
The two have sent reinforcements to the area, the rival sides said on Saturday.
The flare-up in Shabwa comes after deadly clashes earlier this month between the government and troops from the so-called Security Belt, who are dominated by separatists seeking an independent south, erupted in Yemen's de-facto capital Aden.
The STC partially withdrew last week from key sites it occupied in Aden under pressure from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but it retains control of key military sites.
The STC has since driven government troops out of two military camps in Abyan province.
While the separatists have fought against the Houthis, STC forces want to see South Yemen regain the independence it gave up with unification in 1990.


Iran charges three detained Australians with spying: report

Updated 54 min 3 sec ago

Iran charges three detained Australians with spying: report

  • Two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites

TEHRAN: Iran has charged three detained Australians with spying, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday, cited by Tasnim news agency.
Two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites, while a third was accused of spying for another country, Esmaili said, without naming them.