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One killed, 10 injured in fresh clashes in Yemeni capital

English.news.cn   2011-09-29 15:47:24 FeedbackPrintRSS

SANAA, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- At least one rebel was killed and 10 others, including five civilians, were wounded when severe clashes between troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and rival tribesmen flared up in the capital on Thursday, a security official said.

"One rebel of powerful tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar was killed, another five rebels were wounded in the heavy clashes and shelling that rocked the northern neighborhood of Hassaba district in downtown Sanaa on Thursday morning," a security official at the scene told Xinhua.

"Also, five civilians were injured after their houses nearby the stronghold of al-Ahmar's residential compound were shelled by random mortars," the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that more than 13 houses were hit by mortar shells.

Many residents in Hassaba fled their homes as clashes and shelling between Saleh's forces and the followers of al-Ahmar, who is backed by defected army, intensified after a relative calm of four days following Saleh's return from Saudi Arabia.

An official of the defected army told Xinhua that a military unit from the First Armored Division, the renegade division led by dissident commander Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, has been dispatched to back the armed tribal followers of Sadiq al-Ahmar.

The fresh violence came a day after Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced an initial negotiation with the opposition to implement a Gulf-brokered initiative for power transfer and end eight-month-long turmoil that left hundreds of people dead and more than 2,000 others injured.

Saleh on Sept. 12 authorized his deputy, Hadi, to sign the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative for power transfer after holding dialogue with the opposition.

The GCC deal, which was initiated in April and was signed by the opposition in May, stipulated Saleh to step down in 30 days and hand over power to his deputy, who will then form an opposition-led national government and arrange presidential elections in 60 days. Saleh has backed out of signing the deal for three times in the last minute.

The embattled president, who confronted a mass protest that erupted across the country in late January to demand an end to his 33-year-long rule, returned to Yemen on Friday after spending more than three months in Saudi Arabia for recovering from injuries he sustained in an attack on his Sanaa palace on June 3.

Saleh's return sparked week-long deadly clashes between forces loyal to him and defected army in Sanaa and the southern restive province of Taiz, leaving more than 100 protesters killed and more than 1,000 others wounded.

Thursday's clashes took place simultaneously with massive protest marches by tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets of Sanaa and southern provinces of Taiz, Ibb, Al-Hodayda, Dhamar and Al-Bayda to demand Saleh's ouster.

Eyewitnesses said government forces opened fire on the marches in Taiz and Ibb. There are no immediate reports of casualties.

Editor: Xiong Tong
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