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Fierce Clashes Erupt between Gov’t troops and Separatist Forces in Abyan

December 5 (Republican Yemen) ___ Fierce clashes between the UAE-backed southern separatist forces and troops loyal to the internationally recognized government broke out on Thursday in the southern province of Abyan, killing a separatist commander and wounding several others.

Local sources said that troops loyal to the government were heading to Aden, coming from Shabwa province, to implement the Saudi-sponsored agreement when separatist erected barricades around Abyan and set fire to military vehicles.

The clashes killed separatist commander Salem Awad al-Sahami and wounded seven secessionist fighters, security officials told AP on condition of anonymity under regulations.

The fighting is reported to be the first to take place since the inking of the Riyadh Agreement last month.

In early August, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) militias attacked the Presidential Palace in Aden, Yemen’s interim capital, and took full control of the city. The infighting between the two sides went on until Saudi Arabia called for talks between the two sides.

The talks ultimately resulted in a power-sharing deal between the STC and the Yemeni government that is intended to halt fighting between the two sides, unify efforts to defeat the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and restore state.

So far, no promising steps have been taken to implement the Saudi-backed deal.

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