By Abdullah Ahmed
SANAA (AA) - UAE-backed separatist forces loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) captured a police headquarters in the strategic island of Socotra in Yemen, an official said.
"Gunmen broke into a police station in the province and captured it," an official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media outlets.
The official said the move came with the ultimate aim to take control of Socotra province following a decision by Yemen's President Mansur Abdrabbuh Hadi on Thursday to replace security chief of the province over alleged ties with separatist forces and UAE.
The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition that has launched a massive air campaign in 2015 against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, who overran much of Yemen, including capital Sanaa, a year earlier.
Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara