SANAA - Yemeni separatists have taken effective control of the port city of Aden after days of fighting with troops loyal to the internationally backed government.
Forces aligned with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) - which wants an independent south - said they had seized control of military camps and the presidential palace.
The opposing Saudi-led coalition said it had responded with military action.
The government itself characterised the STC's seizure of Aden as a "coup".
Coalition forces had called on the STC to withdraw from their positions in Aden or face further action. It said it launched its strike against a "threat" to the country's government.
With the STC in control of Aden on Saturday, both sides agreed to a ceasefire, which appears to be holding despite the strike.
Southern separatists have fought alongside pro-government forces for much of Yemen's civil conflict but it has long seemed an uneasy alliance.
The southern port city of Aden has been the temporary base of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi's government. The president himself is based in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
An official with the separatist Security Belt militia told AFP that it seized the presidential palace on Saturday without a fight.
"Two hundred soldiers from the Presidential Guard were given safe passage out of the palace," the official said.(FA)