Fierce fighting broke out on Saturday in Yemen's southern port of Aden between nominally allied forces that have turned on each other, exposing rifts in a pro-government military coalition and complicating United Nations efforts to end a devastating war.
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.
Yemen's southern separatists took control of all government military camps in Aden on Saturday, officials said, after four days of clashes between nominal allies who have turned on each other, complicating United Nations efforts to end the four-year war. They said about 300 presidential guards were allowed to leave the area.
In the Friday violence anonymous doctors and security officials told news agencies that five civilians were among those killed and dozens were wounded in the Friday violence. The fighting, which trapped civilians in their homes with dwindling water supplies, resumed at dawn on Saturday but has since abated.
Clashes cause casualtiesThe allied rivals continued to fight in Aden the capital of the Hadi government recognized internationally. The supporters of the Saudi-supported Mansur Hadi government want one unified country with Hadi as president.
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Four days of clashes between the separatists and government forces have killed at least nine civilians and more than 20 combatants, according to medical sources.
The separatists earlier took over the interior minister's house after he was evacuated by coalition forces, officials said.
Sheikh Abdullah called for a responsible and serious dialogue to end the differences and work on unity in this delicate phase while maintaining security and stability.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.