The Yemeni prime minister accused southern separatists of staging a coup on Sunday, as security sources said separatist fighters had seized the government headquarters in Aden, Agence France-Presse reported.
Several people were killed and injured, Reuters said, citing medical staff, as fierce clashes erupted in the southern port city between government troops and separatists fighting with local security forces.
The separatist Southern Transitional Council had planned a rally for Sunday to demand that the country’s internationally recognised president, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, sack his cabinet.
The council accuses prime minister Ahmed Bin Dagher and his ministers of corruption, and had given Mr Hadi a Sunday deadline to fire them.
Mr Hadi’s government announced a ban on public gatherings on Saturday, as thousands of the Southern Transitional Council’s supporters arrived in Aden ahead of the rally.
Members of the presidential guard had been deployed across the city early on Sunday to prevent the protests from taking place.
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