News / Middle East

Clashes in Yemeni Capital Kill 12

Yemeni female protesters show their hands with colors of the pre-Gadhafi Libya, Yemen and Syria flags during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana'a, Yemen, October 21, 2011.
Yemeni female protesters show their hands with colors of the pre-Gadhafi Libya, Yemen and Syria flags during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana'a, Yemen, October 21, 2011.

Fierce clashes Saturday between Yemeni forces loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposition fighters in the capital Sana'a killed at least 12 people, including five civilians.

Medical officials said several loyalists of Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a Yemeni general who broke with the government and joined the opposition, were also among the dead in fighting in the northern part of the city.

In another part of Sana'a, witnesses said security forces raided neighborhoods that are home to family members of an opposition tribal leader, Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar.   

The violence came a day after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning Yemen's crackdown on dissent.  The measure called the government's use of force against protestors excessive and said "those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable."

The Yemeni government said Saturday it was ready to "deal positively" with the U.N. resolution, which also reaffirms support for a Gulf Cooperation Council initiative that calls for Mr. Saleh to transfer power to a deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Mr. Saleh has agreed to the plan several times, but each time, he has backed away without signing the deal.

For the past ten months, opposition activists have been demanding an end to Mr. Saleh's 33-year autocratic rule.  Dozens of people have died in protest-related unrest over the past few days.

Yemen has also been plagued by violence linked to al-Qaida militants.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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