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Yemen Prime Minister Flies to Moscow

January 15, 1986|United Press International

NEW DELHI — The prime minister of pro-Soviet South Yemen flew to Moscow today on the way home to his country, where government army and navy units battled rebellious troops who supported an attempted coup.

Prime Minister Haider abu Bakr Attas said "things now are getting better and under control" in South Yemen, the only Marxist Arab state and a close Soviet ally. The Soviets signed a 20-year friendship pact with South Yemen in 1979.

At a brief meeting with reporters before his departure for the Soviet Union, Attas refused to say how long he would stay in Moscow or whom he would meet there. But the prime minister stressed that he would return to South Yemen after the unscheduled stop.

Source Unknown

It was not known where Attas obtained his information about the situation in South Yemen. He met earlier with Soviet Ambassador to India Vassily Rykov and ambassadors of Syria, Algeria, Yemen, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates.

Attas and his 40-member delegation were on a two-day visit to New Delhi when an attempted coup began in the South Yemeni capital of Aden on Monday. Before leaving the air Monday night, state-run Radio Aden reported at least four leaders of the plot to overthrow President Ali Nasser Hasani were killed.

Fighting between loyalist units and rebellious troops continued today, but there were indications that the government forces had regained control.

There were also unconfirmed reports that Hasani, 49, had been killed or wounded in the coup, which was apparently staged by pro-Soviet government officials unhappy about his decision to open South Yemen to pro-Western Persian Gulf states.

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