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At least eight killed in overnight clashes in Yemen capital

Reuters/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

At least eight people were killed and 27 wounded in deadly overnight clashes in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, between tribes and troops opposing veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh and regime loyalists. 


Four of the deaths were in Change Square where protesters demanding the ouster of Saleh have camped out for months. Protesters said Saleh's forces were trying through the shelling to force them to stop their occupation of the square.

Fierce clashes also took place in the northern Sanaa neighbourhood of Al-Hassaba between tribesmen led by Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, who opposes Saleh, and followers of Sheikh Saghir bin Aziz, who remains loyal to the embattled leader.

And clashes broke out overnight in Ziraa Street, east of Change Square between troops from the dissident First Armoured Division, led by General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, which provides protection for protesters, and Central Security forces loyal to Saleh.

On Sunday, Saleh claimed the protests were being militarised and were part of a coup led by Islamists, apparently referring to the Islah (Reform) party, which is known as the Muslim Brothers of Yemen.

Tension had escalated in Sanaa after demonstrators raised the stakes on Saturday, marching towards zones of the capital controlled by Saleh's forces, prompting deadly response from loyal troops and gunmen.

Saleh's forces shot dead 12 protesters on Saturday, while six people, including four demonstrators and two soldiers of Ahmar's division, were killed on Sunday, according to medics.

Violence also erupted on Sunday in the flashpoint city of Taez, where Aziza Ghaleb became the first woman to be killed while marching in anti-Saleh protests since January.




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