Renewed clashes between troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposition tribesmen have killed at least three people in a northern district of the capital, Sana'a, as violence continued in the country's volatile south.
Residents said artillery and automatic weapons fire was concentrated early Thursday near the home of a prominent anti-Saleh tribal leader in Sana'a's Hasaba district, the site of weeks of bloody fighting that began in May.
Yemeni troops also opened fire Thursday on protesters in the southwestern city of Taiz, wounding 10 people as thousands rallied to call for Saleh's resignation.
On Wednesday, Yemeni forces killed at least 12 militants in southern Abyan province, just days after the government said it had "liberated" the provincial capital of Zinjibar from Islamist fighters.
Army officials said negotiations with southern militants to end the bloodshed there are deadlocked. The Yemeni government has been fighting to retake control of Zinjibar and other parts of Abyan from al-Qaida-linked fighters who seized the area in May.
Opposition protesters and tribesmen have been demonstrating since February for an immediate end to Saleh's 33-year autocratic rule. Yemeni troops and Saleh loyalists have cracked down on protesters and tribesmen who have taken up arms against the government.
Saleh, recovering in Saudi Arabia from a June assassination attempt, continues to maintain power despite international pressure to quit and the ongoing street protests. United Nations human rights officials say six months of protest-related violence in Yemen has killed hundreds of people and injured thousands more. A team of U.N. rights experts on Tuesday called for immediate action to protect demonstrators who are demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
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