Yemen rebels withdraw some forces from southern port of Aden

Two battalions of the Republican Guard and special forces supporting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh were moving to Sanaa and their northern stronghold of Saada near the Saudi border.



By (AP)

Published: Sat 27 Jun 2015, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:07 PM

Houthi militants chant slogans during a demonstration in Sanaa. -AP file photo

Sanaa - Yemeni rebels withdrew some of their forces from the southern city of Aden on Saturday to reinforce positions elsewhere, security officials said, as fighting sparked a fire in the city’s oil refinery.

Two battalions of the Republican Guard and special forces supporting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh were moving to Sanaa and their northern stronghold of Saada near the Saudi border, they said.

A shell hit a fuel tank in Aden’s refinery, starting a blaze that poured huge black smoke clouds over the city, employees and witnesses said. Company officials rushed to put out the fire, which caused a panic among residents, who feared it would spread to other nearby reservoirs.

The fighting in Yemen pits the Houthi rebels and allied troops loyal to Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni militants and loyalists of the exiled president. The rebels seized the capital in September. In March, a Saudi-led and US-backed coalition began launching airstrikes against the rebel forces.

Elsewhere in the country, air raids hit several targets in Aden, Jawf, Sadaa, Taiz and Hodeida, and ground fighting raged in Aden and Marib. The night before, artillery fire hit a military operations room in Aden.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.


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