Sanaa: Yemeni troops were surrounding a mosque controlled by ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh Sunday amid fears he is plotting a coup, days after the ex-strongman`s media outlets were silenced.
Also today, an Al-Qaeda suspect killed eight people in the south and fresh clashes erupted between security forces and Shiite Huthi rebels in the north, ending an UN-mediated 11-day truce.
Yemen`s presidential guard, backed by armoured vehicles, has since late today blocked access to the large Al-Saleh mosque in southern Sanaa.
Saleh ruled Yemen for 33 years before he was forced out in February 2012 and replaced by his long-time deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi under a UN- and Gulf-sponsored deal.
A source close to the presidency told that weapons had been stored in the mosque and were being guarded by gunmen loyal to Saleh.
A tunnel connecting the site to the presidential palace had also been discovered.
Hadi suspects his predecessor is "plotting a coup", the source said, without elaborating further.
Saleh, who has his own bodyguards, boosted security around his residence in the Hada district, also in south Sanaa.
Saleh still heads the influential General People`s Congress (GPC) party which holds half of the government`s ministries and retains the loyalty of some elements in the military.
Critics accuse him of impeding the deeply tribal country`s political transition.
The mosque siege came days after authorities closed the Yemen Today newspaper and television channel owned by Saleh.
The media outlets have often been accused of biased coverage of the post-Saleh government and of inciting protests in Sanaa against power cuts and water and fuel shortages.