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Arab coalition calls for restraint as tank battle rocks Aden

Written by Staff

RIYADH/ADEN: President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said on Monday that a “coup” was underway in Aden, where separatists were battling his forces for a second day.
Military sources told AFP that at least nine people were killed in heavy fighting on Monday as a tank battle broke out in Aden.
The Arab coalition, which supports the government of Hadi, called for dialogue and for it to hear the demands of the separatists in the southern port city.
“We are calling on the legitimate government to look into the demands of the political and social movement,” said coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.
He urged “restraint” from the separatists and for them to “hold talks with the legitimate government.”
Al-Maliki said the coalition’s priority was to deliver humanitarian aid and said 12 aid flights had been sent to Aden within a week to relieve the people’s suffering.
In addition, Al-Maliki said more than 19 ships were at Yemeni ports carrying humanitarian aid for the Yemeni people.
“The Yemeni people have a right to humanitarian aid and this right should not be disrupted,” Al-Maliki said.
Hadi, meanwhile, renewed his call for a cease-fire, saying “rebellion and weapons won’t achieve peace or build a state.”
“The real and the main battle is with Iranian Houthi militias and any other side problems will impact the main battle,” he said, according to Reuters. “Any assault on legitimacy is a coup.”
UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged all parties to return to “calm and dialogue.”
As the fighting escalated in Aden, military sources told AFP that civilians were hunkered down at homes as five separatist fighters were killed by snipers and four soldiers died in clashes with tanks and heavy artillery entering the fray.
Fighters from both sides have been deployed in most areas of Aden, paralyzed for a second day after 15 people were killed and dozens wounded on Sunday.
Universities, schools and shops stayed closed, an AFP photographer said.

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