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Yemen President, Tribal Chief Agree to End Clashes


Anti-government protesters carry the coffins of fighters loyal to the tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar, who were killed this week during clashes with police, in Sana'a, Yemen, May 27, 2011

Anti-government protesters carry the coffins of fighters loyal to the tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar, who were killed this week during clashes with police, in Sana'a, Yemen, May 27, 2011

A mediator says Yemen's president and the country's most powerful tribal leader have agreed to end five days of urban gunbattles that threatened to push the country into civil war.

At least 115 people have died in the clashes.

The battles pitted President Ali Abdullah Saleh's security forces against those of Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, the leader of the Hashid tribe. The battles have become the most serious threat to President Saleh's grasp on power after three months of opposition protests.

The two sides have agreed to withdraw their forces from the Hassaba neighborhood in the capital, Sana'a starting Sunday morning.

The tribal leader, a former ally of Mr. Saleh, has joined the protesters who want the Yemeni president to step down after 32 years of authoritarian rule.

In another development, Yemeni security officials said three French aid workers are missing and feared kidnapped.

The French Foreign Ministry in Paris confirmed the disappearance of two women and a man in southeastern Yemen but did not confirm a kidnapping.

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