South Yemen clashes wound senior officials

Southern Resistance fighter is pictured through a damaged door glass as he stands guard at the international airport of Yemen's southern port city of Aden. (File: Reuters)

The deputy speaker of Yemen's parliament and a former interior minister were wounded on Monday in clashes between loyalist forces and militias in Abyan province, local government officials said.

Mohammed al-Shaddadi and ex-minister Hussein bin Arab, who are close to exiled President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, were leading loyalist forces in the city of Loder at the time, the officials said without elaborating.

Like Hadi, both men are from Abyan.

Infographic: South Yemen clashes intensify

Infographic: South Yemen clashes intensify

Infographic: South Yemen clashes intensify

Pro-Hadi military officials told AFP later Monday that loyalist forces have recaptured Loder, the last town in Abyan to fall from militia hands.

"Abyan is now completely free" of insurgents, one official said.

Loyalists had already taken provincial capital Zinjibar from the Shiite militias and their allies on Sunday as they pressed an advance from second city Aden.

A medical source in Aden told AFP that 16 loyalist militiamen were killed and dozens wounded in Abyan over the past 24 hours, most when mines planted by the militias exploded.

Loyalists secured Aden in mid-July and Lahj provincial capital Huta on August 4 before advancing on Abyan, backed by a Saudi-led coalition waging an air war against the militias since March.

But the militias still control the capital Sanaa which they seized last year, as well as large swathes of Yemen including the remote north where their mountain stronghold of Saada is located.

Clashes were also reported by residents in third city Taez on Monday, as well as in the central province of Ibb.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 12:05 - GMT 09:05