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Gunmen briefly seize security building in Yemen

Last Updated: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 08:29

Sanaa: Gunmen loyal to ousted Yemeni ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh seized a security building near the Interior Ministry in the capital for a few hours on Sunday before vacating it, a security official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press, said a former security official and a relative of Saleh dispatched the gunmen. After taking over the building in Sanaa, they blocked off the airport highway along which it is located.

Saleh, Yemen`s ruler for over 30 years, transferred power to a newly elected President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in February after a yearlong uprising, as part of a US brokered deal that gave him immunity from prosecution if he relinquished power.

Over the past months, tens of thousands of protesters have continued to hold demonstrations against the deal.

Many believe Saleh`s immunity has given him a free hand to hinder the new president`s efforts and retain control of the country through a network of relatives and loyalists in security and military positions.

In Yemen`s volatile south, lack of state authority has prompted fears of a comeback by al-Qaeda militants in several cities and towns they had seized amid a security vacuum during an uprising last year.

The military drove out the militants in a broad offensive starting in May, but police have not returned in full force.


First Published: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 08:29

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