Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sana'a clashes claim 41 lives

Yemeni doctors treat an injured anti-government protestor who was wounded in clashes with security forces in Taizz, Yemen, on Tuesday, May 31, 2011.

Source: Press TV

At least 41 people have been killed in the overnight fighting between opposition tribesmen and security forces in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.

A medical source told the Associated Press on Wednesday that most of the dead were opposition tribesmen.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, loud explosions were reportedly heard in the north of the capital. The cause of the blasts is still unknown.

Heavy fighting erupted between tribesmen loyal to Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, who heads the powerful Hashid tribe, and security forces in Sana'a late on Tuesday and continued overnight.

The street battles shattered a fragile ceasefire between the two sides, which had come into effect on Sunday.

Ahmar blames forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh for breaking the truce by opening fire on the tribal leader's compound in the north of the capital. Saleh rejects the accusation.

The powerful tribal leader had earlier warned that "if the Saleh regime wants a peaceful revolution, we are ready for that. If he chooses war, we will fight him."

Clashes first broke out between security forces and members of the Hashid tribe in the capital on May 23, after Saleh refused to sign a power transition deal brokered by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council.

Since then scores of tribesmen and regime forces have been killed.

The fighting has stoked local and international fears that the Arab world's poorest country could be thrown into civil war.

In addition, hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters have turned out for rallies in Yemen's major cities almost every day since late January.

The mainly peaceful protesters are calling for an end to corruption and unemployment, and demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.

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