ADEN (AFP) – Secessionist gunmen in southern Yemen on Saturday seized all police checkpoints in a major city, witnesses said, in another blow to the central government undermined by militants in Sanaa.
The fighters from the Southern Movement took over six checkpoints in Ataq, the capital of Shabwa province, without facing any resistance, said the witnesses.
Policemen were told to give up their weapons and return to their bases, before the militiamen raised flags of the formerly independent South Yemen at the checkpoints.
The move comes after other southern cities and provinces declared they would disobey the central government in Sanaa.
The security forces have said they will defy any orders from the Yemeni capital after President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi handed in his resignation on Thursday.
Hadi said he could not stay in office because of a “total deadlock” after the militiamen from northern Yemen, known also as Huthis, tightened their grip on Sanaa.