Aden, the seat of Yemen’s government, witnessed Wednesday fierce clashes between southern separatists forces and forces loyal to the internationally recognized government around the presidential palace in the southern city of Aden.
At least five were killed and scores wounded as a result of the deadly clashes that erupted today, local sources said.
Officials and witnesses said Hadi’s prime minister and several Cabinet members and high-ranking officials have left the presidential palace in the past two days to other areas in the city.
Yesterday, Deputy Chairman of the Southern Transitional Council Hani Ben Brik threatened, in a press conference, to expel the internationally recognized government from the port city of Aden and called their armed fighters to rally twoards the presidential palace.
A top government official described Braik’s calls as an attempted coup.
“This is a coup by armed militias. This is not different from the Houthi coup in Sanaa,” he said. He referred the Houthi takeover the capital, Sanaa in 2013 ushering the civil war.
The officials demanded anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief the media, while the witnesses who commented feared reprisal.
UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths expressed deep concern about the incident and warned it “will contribute to instability and suffering in Aden and will deepen Yemen’s political and social divisions.”
“I am alarmed by the military escalations in Aden today, including reports of clashes in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace. I am also deeply concerned by the recent rhetoric encouraging violence against Yemeni institutions,” Griffiths said in a statement.