Tension has been running high in Aden since the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) called for sacking the government of Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr. The STC has accused the government of pushing the country to the verge of famine.

A fighter from the southern Yemeni separatists mans a machine gun mounted on a military vehicle securing an anti-government protest in Aden, Yemen on January 28, 2018.
A fighter from the southern Yemeni separatists mans a machine gun mounted on a military vehicle securing an anti-government protest in Aden, Yemen on January 28, 2018. (Reuters)

At least nine people were killed on Monday in heavy fighting between separatist forces and government troops as tanks battled in Yemen's interim capital of Aden, military sources said.

Five pro-separatist fighters were killed by snipers, while four soldiers died in clashes, the sources said, as both sides began using tanks and heavy artillery in a second day of fighting in the southern port city.

Mansour's call for a ceasefire

The flare-up comes after President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's call for an immediate ceasefire on Sunday, when 15 people were killed and more than 130 others wounded in confrontations.

The hostilities erupted early on Sunday when pro-government troops prevented supporters of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) from entering Aden where a rally was planned.

Tensions have been running high in Aden since the STC called for sacking the government of Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr. 

The STC accuses the government of starving Yemenis and pushing the country to the verge of famine.

After the separatists seized the government headquarters  Dagher denounced a "coup... in Aden against legitimacy and the country's unity".

He urged a Saudi-led military coalition backing Hadi to intervene in its defence.

Aden serves as the temporary seat of the Saudi-backed government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, since Houthi rebels overran much of the country in 2014, including the capital Sanaa.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies—who accuse the Houthis of serving as an Iranian proxy—launched a massive military campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back the Houthis’ territorial gains.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies