Sanaa: Hundreds of armed tribesmen have
taken control of part of Yemen`s second-largest city, Taiz,
security officials said on Wednesday.
The advance on Taiz showed the government`s already
tenuous control over the country has slipped further since
President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded in a rocket attack on
his compound in the capital Sanaa on Friday and left for
medical care in neighboring Saudi Arabia.
Saleh left as his country was edging closer to civil
Security officials said Taiz, a city of about a
million located 250 kilometers south of Sanaa, was quiet
Wednesday after two days of fighting during which troops loyal
the regime fought off the rival tribesmen trying to storm the
presidential palace there.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because
they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Taiz has been the scene of some of the biggest
anti-Saleh protests since an uprising against his rule began
in February and also scene of some of the fiercest crackdowns.
Tribal fighters entered the city late last week and
attacked government troops, apparently to protect protesters
or seek revenge for deaths in the crackdowns.
Violence has escalated since Saleh went to Saudi
Arabia and left behind a power vacuum in the Arab world`s
poorest and most unstable country.
The United States fears that this power vacuum will
give freer rein to al-Qaida`s branch in Yemen one of the
terror network`s most active franchises which was behind two
attempted terror attacks on US targets.