Shi'ite rebels and Sunni militiamen battled in the streets of the Yemeni capital for a second day on Friday in fighting that has killed at least 120 people, driven thousands from their homes and virtually shut down the country's main airport.
Fighting between Shiite rebels and Sunni Islamists backed by troops killed nearly 40 people outside Sanaa on Thursday, as the UN envoy huddled in the rebel stronghold to try to end Yemen's political crisis.
At least 20 people were killed when Shi`ite Muslim rebels clashed with army soldiers and allied tribesmen in an outer suburb of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, tribal and medical sources said on Wednesday.
Yemeni officials said on Thursday that security forces have gone on high alert, fearing that al Qaeda members are streaming into the capital, where a Shiite rebel group's demonstrations have turned deadly.
Yemeni President Abdo Rabu Mansur Hadi reached an agreement Thursday with the Shia Houthi rebel movement to form a new government and to end the insurgents` mass mobilisations which have led to violence, a presidential source said.
Yemen's president is expected to appoint a new prime minister within 48 hours under a new deal with Shiite rebels in return for ending their weeks-long protests, a source close to the presidency said today.
The leader of Yemen`s Shia-oriented rebel Houthi group, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, has threatened Yemeni authorities with further unrest if they do not respond to demands to resume fuel subsidies and to dismiss the government.
Yemeni security forces on Sunday moved to break up a sit-in held by Shiite rebels blocking the capital's airport road, using water cannons, bulldozers and tear gas, security officials and witnesses said.