News / Middle East

Renewed Clashes Erupt in Yemeni Capital

Defected soldiers stand guard next to the site of a demonstration by protestors to demand the resignation of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011.
Defected soldiers stand guard next to the site of a demonstration by protestors to demand the resignation of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011.

Clashes have erupted in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, between government forces and supporters of tribal leaders who oppose President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Witnesses said Thursday that the fighting began late Wednesday.  The French news agency quotes witnesses who say the two sides exchanged machine gun and mortar fire.

The clashes involve loyalists to General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, an influential tribal chief.  Last week, President Saleh said he would not step down as long as General Ahmar and other key rivals retain power and influence in the country.

Meanwhile, the Suhayl pro-opposition television channel says eight people were wounded on Thursday after pro-Saleh forces used live ammunition on anti-government protesters in the southern city of Taiz.

Government opponents have been rallying for Saleh's departure for nine months.  Representatives of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council have been holding talks with Yemeni officials on a plan that calls for the president to hand over power to a deputy.

Saleh has agreed to the proposal three times since April. However, in each case, he has backed out before a deal could be signed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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