South Yemen: Comrade Against Comrade

Heavy fighting breaks out between rival Marxist factions

In colonial times, British steamship passengers knew Aden, at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, as a free port on the edge of a vast desert. In late 1967, after four years of civil strife, the moonscape known as Aden and the Protectorate of South Arabia was granted its independence by the British government. In time it became known as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, or simply South Yemen, to distinguish it from the Yemen Arab Republic to the north. The only Arab country that explicitly calls itself Marxist, South Yemen (pop. 2 million) forged close ties with the...

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