Anti-govt forces advance on southern Yemen

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Anti-govt forces advance on southern Yemen

The militants, backed by troops allied to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, clashed with forces loyal to Hadi in at least two southern provinces Tuesday as they pushed on Aden, sources said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 25 Mar 2015, 10:54 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:11 PM

Aden: Anti-government forces advanced towards President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s refuge of Aden in southern Yemen, fighting fierce battles as the embattled leader again pressed the United Nations for help.

The militants, backed by troops allied to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, clashed with forces loyal to Hadi in at least two southern provinces Tuesday as they pushed on Aden, sources said.

In another southern city, Taez, the militia shot dead five demonstrators as protests intensified against the Huthi presence, in what Amnesty International denounced as a “shocking disregard for human life”.

The militiamen have seized large parts of Yemen and, in recent days, have been moving towards Aden, where Hadi fled after escaping house arrest in the capital Sanaa last month.

On Tuesday he called for the UN to go further and painted a dark picture of the crisis, raising concerns that Al Qaeda will “seize the current instability to spark further chaos”.

He also referred in a letter to the Security Council to an unspecified “missile capability looted from the legitimate authority”, and asked the body to take control of the missiles.

The president called for the council to pass a binding resolution asking countries to provide immediate support “by all means and measures to protect Yemen and deter the Huthi aggression expected to occur at any hour from now” in several strategic cities, including Aden.

Diplomats on the council said no new meeting has been planned at this time.

Tuesday’s clashes came after the Huthis seized the airport and a nearby military base Sunday in Taez, 180 kilometres (110 miles) north of Aden and seen as a strategic entry point to Hadi’s southern refuge.

Clashes also erupted in the province of Lahj, just north of Aden, where forces loyal to Hadi had deployed in anticipation of an attack.

Kirsh, on the border between Lahj and Taez provinces, fell Tuesday, as did two further loyalist positions 15 kilometres down the road towards Aden, tribal sources said.

Meanwhile, loyalists from a base at Al Anad, in Lahj, were grouping in Aqqane, not far from Kirsh, in a bid to halt any further advance.

 



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