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Yemen

UN-backed deal fails to stop violence in Yemen

Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

Fierce clashes broke out between rival security forces in the Yemeni capital on Friday, two days after President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a power transfer deal aimed at ending the violence which has seen the deaths of hundreds of people since protests against his 33-year rule erupted in January. 

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Dissident troops from the First Armoured Brigade led by General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar exchanged mortar and machine gun fire in the early hours with forces of the central security services commanded by Saleh's nephew Yehya, residents said.

The clashes erupted outside the residence of Vice President Abrabuh Mansur Hadi, who is to assume Saleh's powers under the Gulf-brokered transition deal which the veteran strongman signed on Wednesday.

The fighting, which spread to the heart of the capital, lasted more than two hours. There was no immediate word on any casualties.

Both Saleh's opponents and his supporters were expected to hold mass rallies in the capital later on Friday after the main weekly Muslim prayers.

Youth activists, who have spearheaded 10 months of protests against the president, have rejected the UN-backed transition deal, expressing outrage at its promise of immunity from prosecution for Saleh and his family, and demanding that his entire regime step down.

 

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