Pro-secession gunmen seize military sites in Yemen

 Dozens of pro-secession gunmen took control of several military and security checkpoints in southern Yemen Saturday, a government official told Xinhua.

AFP| Last Updated: Jan 24, 2015, 22:46 PM IST

Aden: Dozens of pro-secession gunmen took control of several military and security checkpoints in southern Yemen Saturday, a government official told Xinhua.

"Militia belonging to the separatist Southern Movement took control of three of the main checkpoints in Aden`s suburbs and forced army soldiers to surrender," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

In the southern Shabwa province, secessionist gunmen seized more than seven key military sites after brief clashes with the army, the official added.

Meanwhile, a tribal source close to the Southern Movement said: "Our fighters captured an important military checkpoint in the country`s central region."

According to the local media Saturday, pro-secession gunmen have taken over the naval base in Aden`s neighbourhood of Tawahi.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah tendered their resignations Thursday amid mounting pressure by the Shia Houthi rebels who have been tightening their grip on power.

However, the Yemeni parliament rejected the president`s resignation and called for an emergency session Sunday to resolve the crisis.

The Houthis had seized the presidential palace in the capital Sana`a Tuesday, a day after it had signed a ceasefire deal with the Yemeni government.

On Friday, the rebels moved close to the Yemeni parliament.

The Shia fighters have taken control of seven Yemeni provinces, including the capital, where tension escalated this week after their attack on the presidential palace.

Also on Friday, hundreds of tribesmen loyal to President Hadi streamed into the city of Aden, the capital of the province by the same name, and took over control of the airport, seaport and government buildings.

The supreme security committee in Aden had issued a statement Thursday and urged all the government institutions as well as the military brigades in the south to defy orders from the capital in support of Hadi.