Clashes between gov't forces, separatists break out in southern Yemen, 16 killed: officials

 ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Intense armed confrontations broke out between the government forces and military units of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen's southern province of Abyan early on Saturday, a security official told Xinhua.

"Fighting began between the government forces and the STC's military units overnight and continued throughout the day amid exchange of intense artillery shelling in Abyan," the local security source said on condition of anonymity.

He said hours of fighting left nearly 10 members of the STC's military units killed including four senior officers.

Meanwhile, another official of the government forces confirmed that six of their soldiers were killed by the STC's shelling in Abyan.

Local residents said the two sides are still battling with artillery fire, mortar shells and machine guns in areas east of Zinjibar, Abyan's capital city.

Last month, political representatives of the two warring factions failed again to declare a new power-sharing government following a series of reconciliation meetings in Saud Arabia's capital Riyadh.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia persuaded the STC and the Yemeni government to hold reconciliation talks, which succeeded in reaching a deal to form a new technocratic cabinet of no more than 24 ministers.

But numerous obstacles have stood in the way of implementing the deal, which excluded the Houthi rebels who are still controlling the capital Sanaa and other northern provinces of the war-torn Arab country.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern regions including Sanaa



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