ABYAN, Yemen 

Government forces captured the city of Ja’ar in Yemen’s southern Abyan province on Sunday, according to a government source.

The city fell to government forces after fierce clashes with fighters of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), which is backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the source told Anadolu Agency.

The source said Abdel-Rahman Shineini, a senior commander of STC forces, was injured during the clashes.

The claim, however, was swiftly denied by STC spokesperson Mohammad al-Naqib, who said his forces had dealt with an “infiltration attempt” into the city.

In a tweet, al-Naqib said “within half an hour, the infiltrators have been eliminated”.

Yemen’s southern provinces have witnessed repeated clashes between government forces and STC fighters since the latter declared self-rule in Aden late April.

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in March 2015 after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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