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Yemen government, STC forces clash in Abyan despite truce

UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces [IlhameLouisaMar/Twitter]
UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces, 31 January 2018 [IlhameLouisaMar/Twitter]

Battles broke out between government forces and militants belonging to the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen’s Abyan Governorate yesterday, according to sources.

This comes hours after the Arab coalition announced that the Yemeni government and the STC have agreed to adhere to a comprehensive ceasefire, in light of the recent developments in Socotra.

A government military source told Anadolu Agency that its forces launched an attack on sites belonging to the STC forces in Sheikh Salem village and Al-Tarya area, east of the city of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the government forces gained control of Al-Tarya, noting that the fighting resulted in the death and injury of dozens of militants.

READ: UAE-backed forces call for ‘self-rule’ in Yemen’s Hadramout

Meanwhile, Colonel Yusran Al– MaqtariCounterterrorism force commander, announced via Facebook, the death of one of his soldiers and the injury of three others in the Abyan battle.

Al-Maqtari said: “Abdullah Nasser of the Counter-Terrorism Unit was killed today in Abyan … and Muhammad Abdul Qawi suffered a serious eye injury, as well as two others.”

In turn, the spokesman for the STC forces in Abyan, Muhammad AlNaqib, tweeted: “It was a suicide mission with massive losses,” without providing further details.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that ambulances in the cities of Zinjibar and Shaqra, in Abyan, have been transferring the dead and wounded from both sides since yesterday morning.

MBS and MBZ bloody Yemeni war - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

MBS and MBZ bloody Yemeni war – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

On Monday, the Arab coalition in Yemen announced that the Yemeni government and the STC have agreed to implement a comprehensive ceasefire agreement.

This comes days after the STC took control of the headquarters of the local authority in Socotra Governorate, forcing the government forces to withdraw.

The Yemeni government considered this “a brutal attack, a rebellion and a blatant coup against the legitimate authority”.

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Middle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaYemen
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