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Rival Yemeni factions clash in Aden Open in fullscreen

Adel al-Ahmadi

Rival Yemeni factions clash in Aden

Local Popular Committee militants control parts of Aden [AFP]

Date of publication: 12 March, 2015

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Parts of the de facto capital for Yemen's internationally recognised government has become a battleground following clashes between rival soldiers and militia.

Two soldiers from Yemen's special forces were killed in the southern city of Aden, reportedly during battles with militants loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The clashes broke out in Crater district, where Hadi and his government are based following a coup led by Houthi fighters in the capital, Sanaa.

Popular Committee militants are allied to Hadi, while the special forces, based in the heart of Aden, are understood to be loyal to Yemen's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was overthrown in 2012.

Saleh and his supporters appear to have sided with the Houthis during their overthrow of the internationally recognised government in January.

Local security forces day that the pro-Hadi militants partially captured a special forces' base in Crater.

The special forces' leader, Abdul Hafez al-Saddaq, has ignored Hadi's order to step down, and is said to be following orders from the Houthis in the north.

Aden, although in the hands of Hadi loyalists and southern separatists who oppose the Houthis, is tense with fears that a large scale battle might break out between rival military units and militias.

During anti-Houthi protests in the central province of Bayda, one protester was killed and six wounded when a militia fired into the crowd, Anadolu reported.

Thousands of Yemenis took part in demonstrations today to protest against Houthi rule.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

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