Fighting in Taez and Sanaa as Yemeni ministers flown to Saudi hospital
Fighting continued in at least two Yemeni cities Saturday after five officials were flown to Saudi Arabia to be treated for injuries sustained during the shelling of the presidential palace on Friday.
Soldiers clashed with armed men protecting the long-running sit-in in Taez’s Tahrir Square on Saturday. Two demonstrators and four soldiers were killed on Friday with 30 civilians and 24 soldiers wounded.
And there was fighting in Sanaa’s northern district of Al-Hassaba, where tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar lives.
Ten people were killed and 35 wounded when troops shelled al-Ahmar’s home, his office said Saturday.
Residents have fled Al-Hassaba and surrounding areas, where water has been cut off and frequent power cuts take place, because of the violence.
The government blames al-Ahmar’s fighters for the shelling of a mosque in the presidential compound on Friday. The attack killed seven people and injured President Ali Abdallah Saleh and several of his ministers.
Five of them were flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment on Saturday. They are:
- Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar;
- Parliament speaker Yahya al-Raie;
- Consultative Council chief Abdulaziz Abdulghani;
- Deputy prime minister for home affairs Sadiq Amin Aburas;
- Deputy premier General Rashad al-Alimi.
Al-Alimi is "critically wounded", according to a source close to the presidency.
Sanaa governor Noman Dweid is in serious condition in a Sanaa hospital after losing a leg and a hand.
Saleh was “stable” and gave “no cause for concern”, according to medical sources, while a leader of his General People’s Congress said that he was “lightly wounded in the back of his head”.
But a promised video message from Saleh was replaced by an audio message in which he blamed “an outlaw gang that has nothing to do with the so-called youth revolution” for the attack.
French NGO Triangle Génération Humanitaire has repatriated all its French employees as three of its workers remain missing, presumed kidnapped.
At the beginning of the week it decided to keep seven two French employees in Sanaa but, with escalating violence there and no news of the missing three, it decided to bring them home on Saturday. Some Yemeni personnel remain.
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