Yemen PM prepares to flee Aden as separatists advance

Yemen PM prepares to flee Aden as separatists advance”

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) placed the casualty count to at least 36 killed and 185 injured.

Forces loyal to the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi hold the large northern district of Dar Saad, while ministers remain in the besieged presidential palace near the coast.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government officials blamed it on the Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch.

Southern Yemeni separatists on Tuesday took control of a key presidential security base in the port city of Aden as heavy fighting renewed with government forces.

Bin Daghr has described the ultimatum as a coup against the internationally-recognised government, which the STC has accused of attacking civilians who had converged on the city's Parades Square from across southern Yemen for a rally.

The seizure of the Fourth Brigade is the biggest gain for the separatists since fighting first erupted on Sunday.

"The coalition renews its call to all parties to cease fire immediately and ends all forms of armed conflict", the coalition said in a statement cited by the Saudi SPA agency.

"A political dialogue represents the only way to achieve a more stable, unified and prosperous Yemen", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

"When the coalition launched its war in 2015 they said it was aimed at preserving a united Yemen, this is no longer the case".

A government source said the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen in support of the Hadi administration should rein in the STC separatists or else the battle against the Houthis would suffer. "Additional divisions and violence within Yemen will only increase their suffering".

Almost three years on, the coalition has failed to achieve its stated aim of restoring the "legitimate" government of Hadi.

This comes despite a cease-fire that was agreed upon by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates hours earlier.

The UAE-backed anti-terror campaign has dislodged Al Qaeda militants from several villages in Abyan and in the neighbouring Shabwa province, with more than 50 of them arrested and imprisoned in Aden.

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