The fighting between government forces and forces loyal to the STC around Zinjibar continues to block the road linking Aden to Abyan, Shabwa and Hadhramout
Clashes resume a day after Abyan ceasefire
Clashes between government forces and forces loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) resumed near Abyan governorate’s capital, Zinjibar, on Monday. The clashes erupted one day after a local mediation committee negotiated a ceasefire between the two sides.
The opposing forces exchanged artillery shelling northeast of Zinjibar between the coastal town of Sheikh Salem and a military camp in the Al-Tariyah area.
On Sunday, both sides had agreed to open the road between Zinjibar and the coastal town of Shaqra to civilians and cargo transport trucks. It was a welcome move that coincided with the first day of the three-day Eid Al-Fitr holiday during which locals travel to see relatives.
Shelling on Monday once again suspended traffic on the road, two taxi drivers confirmed to Almasdar Online.
Since fighting broke out between the two sides on May 11, at least 45 people have died and dozens have been wounded, according to medical workers and local sources. The Zinjibar-Shaqra stretch of the major coastal road – which continues westward to the interim capital Aden, and east to the governorates of Shabwa and Hadhramout – has remained closed for most of the two weeks since the fighting broke out.
Saudi military forces used the road on Sunday to travel from coalition headquarters in Aden’s Al-Buraiqah district to a coalition military base in Shabwa, according to a military source.
Meanwhile in Shabwa, a large number of residents attended the funeral Monday of Brig. Gen. Mohammed Saleh Al-Aqili, commander of the 153rd Brigade, who was killed in clashes against STC forces in Abyan.
At the funeral, Shabwa Gov. Mohammed Bin Adyo criticized attempts by the STC and the Houthis to undermine the Yemeni state.
“In Yemen, we are plagued by these militias who want another Yemen, other than the unified Yemen we want. They want a Yemen that belongs to Iran or to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,” he said.
Editing by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs