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Yemeni govt troops force separatists out from southern city

Yemeni govt troops force separatists out from southern city

Yemeni security officials say forces loyal to the internationally recognized government have taken full control of a key southern city after overnight clashes with separatists.

The fighting over Etq, the capital of oil-rich Shabwa province, lasted until Friday morning, AP cited the officials as saying.

Etq had previously been divided between President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government forces and a separatist militia trained by the United Arab Emirates. The infighting between Hadi's forces and the separatists, seen as allies in Yemen’s war against the Shiite Houthi rebels, erupted earlier this month.

The separatists, known as the Southern Transitional Council, launched an offensive at the time to take strategic areas in the south, including the city of Aden and the nearby Abyan province.