UAE-backed southern separatists fully grabbed control on Saturday in the port city of Aden, the seat of Yemen’s government.
The separatists seized control of all government military camps in the southern port city on Saturday and surrounded the all-but empty presidential palace, officials said.
The fighting erupted Wednesday when forces loyal to the so-called Southern Transitional Council attempted to break into the presidential palace in Aden after a call from ex-Cabinet minister Hani Bin Braik, who serves as deputy head of the STC, to “topple” the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The death toll in four days of fighting between the separatists and government forces in the southern city climbed to more than 70 people, including civilians, the officials said.
“What is happening in the temporary (government) capital of Aden by the Southern Transitional Council is a coup against institutions of the internationally recognised government,” the foreign ministry said in a Twitter post.
“It is all over, the (Southern Transitional Council) forces are in control of all the military camps,” an official in Hadi’s government told Reuters.
It all started when two attacks by Houthi rebels and a suicide bomber killed at least 49 people last week in Yemen’s interim capital Aden.
Although Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, leaders in the Southern Transitional Council saw an opportunity to foment sedition against Yemeni northerners residing in Aden and stage a military coup against the internationally recognized government.