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Yemen separatists say ready for Saudi-brokered peace talks

Yemen separatists say ready   for Saudi-brokered peace talks

Aden: The head of Yemen's separatist movement said he was ready to take part in Saudi-brokered peace talks after clashes with pro-government forces killed dozens in second city Aden.

Southern Transitional Council (STC) leader Aidarus al-Zubaidi also said late Sunday that he was committed to a ceasefire in Aden, where the separatists have seized the presidential palace and army camps.

Last week's fighting pitted the UAE-trained Security Belt Force dominated by fighters who back the STC -- which seeks independence for south Yemen -- against loyalist forces.

For the past five years both camps, backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have been engaged in a war against Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.

Zubaidi, in a televised speech, said last week's violence had been "provoked" by forces loyal to Riyadh-based Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Separatist fighters were left with "only two options: either self-defence, or surrender and accepting the liquidation of our just cause," Zubaidi said, according to an English translation of his comments posted on the STC website.

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