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Yemen separatists surround Aden presidential palace: military source

ADEN: Yemeni separatists have surrounded the presidential palace in government’s interim capital Aden, a military source said Tuesday.

“The separatists have surrounded the palace and now control the main gate. Those inside are unofficially under house arrest at this point,” said the source, a high-ranking officer with the Yemeni military.

Tension between the separatists and the government erupted into clashes at the weekend, with more than 36 people killed in Aden since Sunday, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Brigadier Saleh al-Sayyed, who heads troops that have fought alongside the separatists since Sunday, announced his forces had seized control of the Fourth Brigade, the presidential guard in Aden.

The southern city has served as the government’s de facto capital since 2014, when the Huthi rebels seized control of Sanaa in their fight against the state.

Saudi-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi resides in Riyadh.

Formerly independent states, North and South Yemen were unified in 1991 under the presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed in December in clashes with the Huthis in Sanaa.

The Huthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, control most of northern Yemen.

The south is home to the Southern Transitional Council, a separatist movement that wants to reinstate South Yemen as an independent entity.

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