Sana`a: At least 17 people were killed and dozens of others wounded in clashes between the security forces and gunmen belonging to a group of army defectors at the Yemeni interior ministry Tuesday, said officials and medics.
"A total of 11 soldiers` bodies have been brought to the police hospital and dozens of others were receiving treatment," Xinhua quoted doctors at the hospital as saying.
"The security forces arrested 28 soldiers of the defected army who were dressed in security force uniforms and found six bodies of the defected soldiers inside the interior ministry building," the interior ministry said.
"The central security forces have taken control of the ministry building after dozens of defected soldiers fled the scene," it said.
Police officials said the clashes erupted after troops of the defected First Armoured Division and gunmen loyal to opposition tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar entered the headquarters of the interior ministry late Monday.
"A large number of troops from the defected army and militants loyal to al-Ahmar attacked the security soldiers guarding the building of the ministry, and then set up several barricades around the scene," said a police official requesting anonymity.
"The government forces in the nearby security camp tried to protect the ministry and drove those militants away... but the defected troops opened fire on the security soldiers. Severe clashes have continued for more than 10 hours," he added.