Renewed infighting between militias serving Saudi, UAE leaves 8 Yemenis dead
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Renewed infighting between militias serving Saudi, UAE leaves 8 Yemenis dead

The infighting broke out Wednesday after the southern separatists attended a funeral for dozens of fellows, including a senior militant commander, who were killed in last week’s retaliatory missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement on a military parade. Both the UAE-backed separatists and the militants loyal to Hadi serve a Saudi-led military coalition, which has been engaged in a bloody campaign against Yemen since March 2015 to reinstate Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh who resigned in 2014 and later fled to the Saudi capital. According to local witnesses, the civilians were killed after shells landed on their homes on Friday, with the clashes concentrated in the city's northern residential areas. The clashes have further exposed a rift within the invading coalition after the UAE scaled down its military presence in some areas, including Aden, amid pressure from Western allies. Reuters, citing the head of Aden’s health directorate, reported that at least 24 forces had been killed during the past three days, without specifying which side they belonged to. According to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), 75 people had been treated in one of its surgical hospitals since Thursday night. Most of them, it added, were civilians wounded by shrapnel during shelling on their houses or stray bullets. “There has been heavy, continuous shelling. We’re still hearing clashes in my neighborhood,” said Amgad, a staff member of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) aid group. “There is no way to get out of the city. Roads are closed and it is not safe. People are scared. We hope this will end soon.” The two sides pursue different agendas for Yemen’s future; the separatists want independence from Yemen, while the other militants seek to bring Hadi back to power, but the two camps have joined forces in the Saudi-led battle against Yemen’s Houthi movement, which has been both running state affairs and defending the country against the aggression. The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016. The years-long military aggression has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has warned that more than 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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