Saudi-led coalition calls for immediate ceasefire in Aden

Fighters from Yemen's southern separatist movement sit in the back of a pick-up truck in the country's second city of Aden

An official at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said at least 36 were killed and 185 were wounded.

"They also laid siege around the presidential palace in Aden, the seat of Yemen's internationally recognised government", they added.

But the ministers returned to Aden before dawn, after receiving guarantees from the coalition that the presidential palace would not be stormed, a government source said.

Aden residents claimed that the STC fighters overpowered Hadi's forces in central Aden's Crater and Tawahi districts.

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Violence reportedly erupted on Sunday after forces loyal to the STC seized the government's headquarters in the coastal city.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that the situation has "restricted staff movements in and outside of Aden" and that humanitarian flights are on hold after the closure of the airport. Yemen is also battling a deadly cholera outbreak and a possible starvation.

"Aden was a relative refuge amidst the fighting in Yemen, but now that too has been shattered", Kirolos said.

In a tweet STC Vice President Hani Bin Brik declared victory as the separatist forces took control of the city of Aden and the gates of the Maasheeq Palace.

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The warring parties have been locked in a bloody stalemate for most of the last three years.

According to Yemeni sources, Hadi urged all his forces "to confront any insurgency in Aden decisively and crush the separatist militias". The STC accuses the government of starving Yemenis and pushing the country to the verge of starvation. Hadi, who has been living in Saudi Arabia for most of the war, rejected the ultimatum, describing the separatists' actions as a "coup".

Although Hadi remains in exile in Saudi Arabia, his administration and local allies nominally control about four-fifths of Yemen's territory.

In a statement issued Tuesday to comment on events taking place in the city of Aden, the Coalition said it would take all necessary measures to restore security and stability in Aden. The officials said Hadi's prime minister and several Cabinet members would soon leave Yemen for Riyadh, where Hadi is already based, but by late Tuesday it was not yet clear if they had done so. Some troops in the Yemeni army are also loyal to the separatists.

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