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Yemen clashes between separatists and pro-government forces kill 13

Deadly fighting involving southern breakaway group follows breakdown in power-sharing talks in August
A Southern Transitional Council fighter atop a tank in Abyan province (AFP)

Clashes between southern Yemeni separatists and pro-government forces in Yemen's Abyan province killed 13 fighters, according to military sources. 

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The infighting late on Friday between the nominal allies in the civil war against the Houthi rebels killed at least eight men from the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), including two officers, and five from the Yemeni government's side, military sources from both sides told AFP. 

The STC withdrew from talks over a power-sharing deal with the Saudi-backed government of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi in August.

It has been allied with the Saudi coalition against the Houthis, but it also wants secession of southern Yemen. 

The relationship has shifted back and forth since August 2019, when the STC seized control of Aden, where the government had been operating from since the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, was taken by the Houthis at the beginning of the war in 2014.

A deal struck in Riyadh in November 2019 was designed to mend the rift between allies.

More than 100,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in Yemen's conflict, which has triggered what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian disaster.