Yemen's dominant Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group said on Tuesday President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi had lost his legitimacy as head of state and warned anyone against dealing with him, saying he was being sought as a fugitive of justice.
"The higher revolutionary committee is following the suspicious moves by ... Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who lost his legitimacy to act as president of the Republic of Yemen, and whose reckless acts harmed the Yemeni people and its security, stability, economy and livelihood," the group said in a statement, its first official reaction since Hadi fled house arrest.
Hadi's flight to Aden in southern Yemen last week after a month under house arrest in the capital Sanaa has led to the emergence of two rival centres of power in the strife-torn country.
Earlier on Tuesday, the president officially recanted his resignation and now holds court guarded by thousands of tribesmen and army loyalists from the mainly Sunni Muslim south.
Houthi militiamen seized the capital in September and laid siege to Hadi's residence in Sanaa last month, prompting his resignation and leading to a political vacuum.
The emerging duel between the Houthis in Sanaa and Hadi in Aden casts yet more doubt on United Nations-sponsored talks to resolve the crisis peacefully and exacerbates sectarian and regional splits which may plunge the impoverished county into civil war.