Yemeni troops shell opposition stronghold, kill 3

Saleh supporters and fighters loyal to the al-Ahmar clan have been locked in a tense standoff in Sanaa since late May.

Updated: Sep 16, 2011, 10:47 AM IST

Sanaa: Government troops shelled the home
district in the capital of the chief of the main tribe
opposing Yemen`s president, killing three and wounding five
people, security officials said on Friday.

Heavy gunfire erupted late yesterday in Sanaa`s Hassaba
district between forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh
and the tribal confederation led by the al-Ahmar clan,
witnesses said.

Security officials said three were killed in the clashes
that erupted late yesterday. The witnesses said the clashes
began with automatic rifles and later involved mortars.

One shell exploded at dawn close to al-Ahmar`s residence.
The officials said two of the wounded were followers of Sheik
Sadeq al-Ahmar.

Saleh supporters and fighters loyal to the al-Ahmar clan
have been locked in a tense standoff in Sanaa since late May,
when al-Ahmar`s leader sided with protesters calling for
Saleh`s ouster. That set off a round of fighting in Sanaa`s
streets that lasted for two weeks.

Several rounds of fighting have broken out since.
Members of the al-Ahmar clan said government officials
and foreign diplomats were negotiating to prevent an
escalation. The officials and tribe members were speaking on
condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
speak to reporters.

PTI