Aden Clashes Left 31 Dead and Wounded

More than 31 people were killed and injured, including civilians, during violent confrontations between the factions of the southern separatist movement Wednesday evening in the center of the port city of Aden, south of Yemen, local sources said on Thursday.

The sources pointed that about nine people were killed and over 22 others wounded, including two women. Homes and property of citizens in the Sheikh Othman district also have been destroyed, the sources added.

Repeated gunfire was heard on Wednesday night in Aden’s densely populated district of Sheikh Othman, residents told Reuters. A fire broke out at a building of the education ministry in the area.

The fighting, which raged for two hours, erupted when one of the brigades manning a checkpoint attempted to disarm another convoy, the sources said. They said it stopped when STC leader Aidarous al-Zubaidi, ordered both sides to withdraw.

The clashes erupted between factions of the so-called security belt affiliated with the Dhalea sons and the so-called support and backing brigades, affiliated with the sons of Yafa, due to the arrest of some arms dealers loyal to one of the factions in Aden.

Armed groups struggle with each other from time to time, sometimes to achieve political gains and extend influence, and at other times due to disputes between its leaders over stolen items and plundering of lands.

Aden is the interim seat of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and has seen rising tensions between the government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) over control of the city and wider south.

STC and the internationally recognized government are nominal allies under the coalition but its forces have twice seized Aden during the conflict, prompting Saudi Arabia to broker a fragile power-sharing deal in 2019.

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