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This picture taken on August 17, 2019 shows an armoured vehicle belonging to forces of the Saudi-led international coalition supporting Yemen's internationally recognised government, behind security barriers at the Central Bank headquarters in the Crater district of the second city of Aden. Image Credit: AFP

Aden: Yemen’s Interior Ministry announced work suspension at its main headquarters in the southern port city of Aden, a week after forces of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) seized the strategic city.

The official website of the Aden-based Yemen’s Interior Ministry said that the decision to suspend work starts “from Saturday until further notice”, Xinhua reported.

“The announcement of the suspension comes after an armed rebellion led by STC forces against the internationally-recognised legitimate government and its official institutions in Aden,” the ministry said.

The ministry added it will “announce the resumption of work in its office in Aden after the return of state institutions to their previous status before the coup.”

Considered as Yemen’s temporary capital, Aden is where the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has based itself since 2015.

STC forces withdrew on Saturday from some government buildings in Aden that they seized last week but held on to military camps that give them control over the southern port, interim seat of Yemen’s ousted Saudi-backed government.

Coalition warplanes fired flares over Aden at dawn near camps occupied by STC forces after the alliance renewed a call for them to quit government sites and for all forces in the south to focus on fighting Al Houthis.

The separatists are a main component in the anti-Houthi alliance, but the war has rekindled old strains between north and south Yemen - which were separate countries until 1990.

Southern Transitional Council (STC) sources told Reuters their forces, which had pulled back from the presidential palace and central bank, were vacating government institutions under the supervision of a Saudi-UAE delegation.

However, they said the forces would not quit government military camps that give them effective control of Aden.

An STC spokesman said they would not cede control unless the Islah party - a backbone of Hadi’s government that is seen by the UAE as an offshoot of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood - and northerners were removed from positions of power in the south.

The Saudi-backed government’s information minister said the southerners had also withdrawn from the hospital and cabinet secretariat, and were in the process of handing over the interior ministry and Aden’s refinery.

The UAE has called for dialogue without directly asking the southern forces to cede control. Saudi Arabia wants to host a summit to end the crisis. Hadi’s government says it will not attend before separatists reverse what it calls their coup.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces including the capital Sana’a.