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Yemeni officials say 18 killed in clashes

Clashes between troops loyal to Yemen`s embattled president and his rivals on Tuesday left at least 18 people killed, according to officials.

Sanaa: Clashes between troops loyal to
Yemen`s embattled president and his rivals on Tuesday left at least
18 people killed and 30 wounded in the capital Sanaa and the
city of Taiz, according to medical, security and tribal
They said eight followers of a powerful tribal leader who
defected to the opposition in March were killed in pre-dawn
clashes with forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh in
the northern sector of the capital.

Four civilians caught in the crossfire and two pro-regime
soldiers were also killed in the fighting, in which mortars,
rockets and heavy machine-guns were used. The city was rocked
by the sound of explosions for much of the night, until the
fighting ceased at sunrise.

Three people were also killed when mortars hit a protest
encampment in central Sanaa known as Change Square, the
birthplace and epicentre of an eight-month-old popular
campaign to topple Saleh, Yemen`s leader for 33 years.

Also, a man was killed in the city of Taiz, when
pro-government gunmen fired on protesters today.
There were no firm information about how many were killed
and wounded in the pre-dawn fighting from the renegade 1st
Armoured Division led by Maj Gen Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

The general, a one-time Saleh ally, said in a statement
that 91 of his men have been killed and 2,300 wounded in
fighting between his troops and pro-regime forces since Saleh
returned home from Saudi Arabia September 23. Saleh was there
for nearly four months to treat serious wounds and burns
suffered in an attack on his Sanaa compound in early June.

At least 30 were wounded across Sanaa and in Taiz today,
most of them in the capital.


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