SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni security officials say clashes in the country’s south between Saudi-backed Yemeni government troops and separatists backed by the United Arab Emirates killed a separatist commander.
It’s the first fighting since the two sides signed a power-sharing deal last month to end their infighting that erupted over the summer.
The officials say the clashes erupted on Thursday as government forces advanced toward Zinjibar, the Abyan provincial capital. Separatists seeking to push them back erected barricades around the city and set fire to military vehicles.
The clashes killed separatist commander Salem Awad al-Sahami and wounded seven secessionist fighters. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.
The violence cast uncertainty over a Saudi-brokered truce that ended infighting between the nominal allies in the Saudi-led coalition’s war against Iran-allied Houthi rebels.