Saleh calls for truce in Yemen
Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh has called for a truce and talks with his opponents on returning from three months in hospital in Saudi Arabia. The death toll since a new flare-up of violence on Sunday rose to 101 as his statement was made public.
"There is no alternative to dialogue and negotiations to end the bloodshed and resolve the crisis," a presidency spokesperson said, while the state news agency Saba announced that Saleh would make an “important speech” to mark the 49th anniversary of the revolution that declared Yemen a republic.
Although Saba did not say when the speech would be given, the anniversary is on 26 September and the president usually makes a speech on the eve.
An Ahmar tribal source said that four people were killed in shelling and machine-gun fire in the Al-Hasaba area of Sanaa on Friday, as clashes between pro- and anti-Saleh factions continued. Two people were also killed when a shell hit Change Square, the centre of anti-Saleh protests in the capital.
In Taez, south-west of Sanaa, one person was killed and two wounded by a shell fored at anti-Saleh protesters in Liberty Square. A hotel caught fire.
The latest deaths brought the death toll since Sunday to 101. More clashes were expected after Friday Muslim prayers which are usually followed by rallies of supporters of both factions.