Yemen’s prime minister Ahmed bin Dagher is accusing southern separatists of a coup after they seized several government buildings during fighting Sunday with government forces the port city of Aden.
The fighting killed at least 10 and left as many as 86 wounded, including some civilians.
At least a temporary calm returned when Yemeni leaders ordered their forces back to their barracks.
The fighting broke out when President Abd Rabuh Mansour Hadi ignored separatists’ demands to fire Prime Minister bin Dagher, accusing him of corruption.
The separatists also accuse Yemeni troops of firing on anti-government protesters.
The separatists, backed by the United Arab Emirates, want Yemen to return to its pre-1990 status, when it was an independent state before unifying with North Yemen.
All of Yemen has been in turmoil since Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sana’a in 2014, forcing Hadi to flee to exile in Saudi Arabia.
The government has since set up shop in Aden.
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes trying to oust the Houthis have obliterated entire civilian neighborhoods, including schools and hospitals. Yemen is also battling a deadly cholera outbreak, a possible famine, and the U.N. estimates about 80% of Yemenis are in desperate need of food, medicine, and clean water.