Clashes erupted in southern Yemen on Friday after an
explosive device targeted separatist militants, a security source
The blast targeted a vehicle carrying militants affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Dar Saad area, in Aden province, leaving several killed and injured, the source told dpa.
Dar Saad is located north of Aden city, the provincial capital. Through their mouthpiece, the Amaaq News Agency, Islamic State said that a booby-trapped Motorcycle had exploded in Dar Saad, killing and wounding nine members of the Security Belt Forces.
Following the blast, unknown gunmen believed to members of a pro-government militia attacked other separatists in the same area, leading to exchange of fire between the two sides, he added.
There has been a cautious calm in Aden city since the STC forces regained control of it on Thursday, according to residents. The STC and its allied UAE-backed Security Belt forces are seeking the secession of southern Yemen.
Both the STC and Security Belt forces are part of a Saudi-led coalition, fighting the Iran-linked Houthi rebels who control the capital Sana'a and other areas in northern and western Yemen. However, tensions are increasing between the Yemeni government and the UAE, a key player in the coalition, but also a supporter of the Security Belt forces.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a military alliance fighting the Houthis since March 2015, months after the rebels took over Sana'a and began to advance towards Aden, which has served as the temporary seat of government.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom is set to visit the Gulf region in a bid to shore up support for a political settlement in Yemen, the ministry said Friday. Wallstrom will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan from August 31 to September 4 for meetings with her counterparts as well as representatives for Yemen's government and the UN, a statement read.
Sweden in December hosted UN-sponsored talks between Yemen's government and the Houthi rebels, resulting in an agreement on withdrawal of forces from the western port city of Hodeida, a truce and prisoner exchange that has not been fully implemented.
"We stood host and contributed in different ways, and I think we have a great deal of trust with the parties and we feel that it is our responsibility to try to ensure that this agreement is implemented," Wallstrom told Swedish Radio news ahead of the visit.
Sweden also planned to host a meeting on Yemen on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York next month. The western coastal province of Hodeida is of strategic importance because of its main port, which is the entry point for some 80 per cent of Yemen's imports and aid.
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