Coalition asks Aden warring rivals to hold talks
Saudi soldiers stand guard as workers unload aid packages from a a cargo plane at Yemen's central province of Marib. - AFP
Aden - The coalition's spokesman, Colonel Turki Al Maliki, also urged "restraint" from the separatists.
Published: Mon 29 Jan 2018, 9:00 PM
Last updated: Mon 29 Jan 2018, 11:41 PM
The Saudi-led Arab coalition on Monday called for the Yemeni government battling southern separatists in the port city of Aden to hold talks on their demands.
The coalition's spokesman, Colonel Turki Al Maliki, also urged "restraint" from the separatists and for them to "hold talks with the legitimate government".
"We are calling on the legitimate government to look into the demands of the political and social movement," Maliki said, referring to the separatists.
At least nine people were killed in heavy fighting between separatists and government troops as a tank battle broke out on the second day of an attempted "coup" in Yemen's interim capital Aden, military sources said. As the fighting escalated, the Saudi-led military coalition which supports the government called for dialogue and for it to hear the demands of the separatists in the southern port city.
Civilians were hunkered down at home as five separatist fighters were killed by snipers and four soldiers died in clashes, military sources said, with tanks and heavy artillery entering the fray.
The clashes came after separatist forces seized government buildings in what Yamen's prime minister called an attempted coup.
Aden has served as the headquarters of Saudi-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's government since it was forced out of the capital Sanaa by rebels three years ago. The separatists - who want the return of the independent South Yemen that existed before 1990 - supported Hadi's forces against the rebels, but tensions between them have risen in recent months.
Fighters from both sides have been deployed in most areas of Aden, paralysed for a second day after 15 people were killed and dozens wounded on Sunday.
Universities, schools and shops stayed closed.
The hostilities erupted early on Sunday when pro-government troops prevented supporters of the separatist Southern Transitional Council from entering Aden for a rally.