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Fierce battles between gov't troops, dissident army rock Yemen's capital

English.news.cn   2011-10-17 04:18:43 FeedbackPrintRSS

SANAA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Fierce street battles flared up Sunday evening between the Yemeni government troops and dissident army backed by opposition armed tribesmen in different parts of the capital, witnesses told Xinhua.

Mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades, Katyusha rockets, anti-warplane weapons and heavy machine guns were used in the clashes between troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the renegade army of the First Armored Division backed by armed tribesmen of opposition tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar in Hassaba's neighborhoods of Mazda, Sa'aa intersection, Amran street near the state television and in the 60th street, several witnesses said.

The witnesses also said there is white light with smoke over the whole area of Hassaba after shells and bombs exploded near the house of dissident opposition leader Sadiq al-Ahmar and near the military base of the defected army.

Fierce clashes also took place in south and north of the protesters' Change Square near the Sanaa University, in Hail neighborhood near the residential house of Vice President Abd- Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and in the residential quarters of Kintaki, Asar, al-Zira'aa, al-Adal and Hadda region, witnesses and residents said.

They said several citizens' houses were hit with random shells, many of which were set on fire.

There were no immediate reports of casualties as fighting increasingly intensified.

The violence came just few hours after Saleh, who confronted nine-month-long protests demanding an end to his 33-year-long rule, accused the opposition and the defected army of seeking-coup attempt, in a speech aired by the state television.

Earlier, the government troops clashed with tens of thousands of protesters in Sanaa and the southern province of Taiz, killing at least six protesters in Sanaa and a woman in Taiz, according to medics.

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Editor: yan
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