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Tensions Rise in South Yemen

(Republican Yemen) ___ Abyan province and Socotra island are once again witnessing escalating tensions on the ground between the internationally recognized government of Yemen and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC), while the two parties prepare to ink a Saudi-brokered agreement to end months of power struggle.

Local sources reported that fierce clashes flared up on Thursday between forces loyal to the government and STC militias, know as the Security Belt, in the southern province of Abyan.

The clashes resulted in grabbing full control of Ahwar district, a key district in Abyan, by forces loyal to the government that also secured the coastal line of the southern province, the sources said.

The escalation began yesterday when militias affiliated with the so-called Security Belt besieged the residence of the Yemeni Governor of Socotra, Ramzi Mahrouz, who is loyal to the Yemeni government, and cut off the main roads of the island.

According to Socotra Post, a local news site, the unrest was caused by an order issued by Socotra’s Governor to prevent foreigners who don’t hold a visa authorized by the official authorities from entering the island.

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