Eight die as tribesmen, troops clash in south Yemen

The clashes began after armed tribesmen attacked the military post yesterday.

Aden: A fierce clash between armed tribesmen and troops of Yemen`s Republican Guard in the southern province of Lahij killed at least eight people, six of them soldiers, a security official said on Friday.

The clashes broke out overnight when tension linked to the Army`s refusal to redeploy a Republican Guard unit from the mountain village of Labus erupted into violence, tribal sources said.

Tribesmen regard the presence of the troops as a provocation.

A security official said six troops and two tribesmen were killed while five other people were wounded in the fighting.

The clashes began after armed tribesmen attacked the military post early on Thursday, killing two of the soldiers and one of the tribesmen, a tribal source said.

The clashes continued through the day and night as the gunmen surrounded the military camp, witnesses said.

Early on Friday, the situation remained tense in Labus, an officer from the Army unit said.

A similar gunfight between the Republican Guards and tribesmen left one soldier dead and three others wounded in Lahij on April 12.

The clash, in which one of the gunmen was also wounded, erupted at a checkpoint in the village of Al-Hada, near Labus.

Yemen, a deeply tribal country on the Arabian Peninsula, has been the site of deadly protests since late January calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The protests have led to defections and clashes within the army. But the Republican Guard, headed by Saleh`s son, Ahmed, has remained loyal to the embattled president.

Besides anti-regime protests, Yemen has been battling a secessionist movement in the south, a Shi’ite rebellion in the north, and an al Qaeda resurgence on its soil.

Bureau Report