Clashes in Yemen capital after President wounded

Yemen President`s regime has blamed the attack on powerful dissident tribesman Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar.

Sanaa: Fresh fighting gripped Sanaa on Saturday
as Yemen`s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed to hit
back after he was wounded in shelling of his compound,
sparking a deadly tit-for-tat.

His premier, who suffered facial burns, and four
other senior officials also wounded were transferred to
neighbouring Saudi Arabia for treatment, state news agency
Saba said.

But Saleh, who has faced four months of protests
against his rule, was "stable" in a Sanaa hospital, a medic
told a news agency a day after the ruling General People`s Congress
(GPC) said he was "lightly wounded in the back of the head."
His regime has blamed the attack on powerful
dissident tribesman Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, whose fighters have
battled government forces in Sanaa since a truce crumbled on
Tuesday.

In an audio statement on state television late
Friday, Saleh said: "I am well, in good health," and added the
bombardment had killed seven people.

Saleh, in power in Sanaa since 1978, hit out at
"the sons of Al-Ahmar," a reference to Sheikh Sadiq and his
brothers, and urged "the security forces to purge state
institutions of these gangs."

On Saturday, sporadic shelling and rocket fire
rattled the Al-Hassaba district of northern Sanaa where Sheikh
Sadiq has his base, witnesses said, adding that residents were
fleeing amid water and electricity cuts.

Among those killed in Friday`s attack on the
presidential palace were three officers of the elite
Republican Guard.

Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar and three other
senior Yemeni officials -- consultative council head Abdulaziz
Abdulghani, parliament chief Yahya al-Raie, and deputy prime
minister Sadiq Amin Aburas -- were all transferred to Saudi
Arabia, the medic said.

Saba said deputy premier General Rashad al-Alimi,
who was "critically wounded" according to a source close to
the presidency, was also taken to the kingdom.

Saleh`s condition was "of no cause for concern,"
the medic said, adding that the other officials required
treatment in oil-rich Saudi Arabia where hospitals are better
equipped than in impoverished Yemen.

Sanaa`s Governor Noman Duweik, who lost a leg and a
hand in the attack, was in serious condition in hospital in
Sanaa, said the official.

Washington condemned the violence, including the
attack on Saleh`s palace, and called for him to transfer
power.

"We call on all sides to cease hostilities
immediately and to pursue an orderly and peaceful process of
transferring political power as called for in the GCC-brokered
agreement," said the White House, referring to the Gulf
Cooperation Council.

Russia, meanwhile, expressed its concern at the
"terrible civil war" in Yemen and urged the leadership to
accept the GCC-sponsored deal.

Yemen`s parliamentary opposition on Saturday called
for an "immediate" ceasefire in the deeply tribal country.
The Common Forum alliance condemned what it said
was the "the dangerous twist which the clashes have taken in
targeting the homes of citizens, the presidential palace, and
vital installations."

PTI

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