At least six fighters were killed in fierce clashes that erupted in Abyan province on Monday, May 11, as Yemeni government forces launched an offensive to recapture areas controlled by the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in southern Yemen, including Aden. According to international reports, the government forces launched their offensive in the morning (local time), shelling separatist positions in areas outside Zinjibar (Abyan province). Further fighting was reported in Shouqra (Abyan province) as separatists set up ambushes and launched rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at the government forces. Reports suggest that the STC repelled the government offensive, destroying several military vehicles using landmines they had planted. Several government soldiers were reportedly wounded and captured in the offensive.
Further clashes are possible in Aden and southern provinces over the near term.
Southern Transitional Council (STC) separatists announced self-rule for Aden (Aden province) and other southern provinces on Sunday, April 26.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and deadly conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered into a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. In August last year, the STC took control of Aden, the government's temporary capital. In total, more than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the fighting and some 3 million have been displaced.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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