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Yemen Capital Rocked by Explosions

Yemen Capital Rocked by Explosions

Yemen’s capital Sana’a was rocked by explosions and gunfire as troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh battled tribal forces after the country’s leader said his opponents are carrying out a coup.

Saleh described the opposition as “insane people, who can’t sleep and only want to take power,” saying that will only happen through elections, Yemen’s state-run news agency reported. “We have strong proofs of the cooperation between Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda” to encourage unrest, he said.

Thousands of protesters clashed with security forces and armed gunmen loyal to the president, leaving at least 14 people dead yesterday, according to Al Jazeera television. Saleh returned to Yemen on Sept. 23 after three months in Saudi Arabia, where he received medical treatment following a rocket attack on his compound in the capital.

Demonstrations began in the Arab world’s poorest country at the end of January, inspired by revolts that ousted the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt and sent Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi on the run. They deepened as military and tribal leaders joined the opposition. Efforts by the Gulf Cooperation Council to broker a power-transfer agreement have failed.

The Yemeni army clashed yesterday with the breakaway 1st Armored Division, loyal to the tribal leader Sadiq Al-Ahmar. Al Arabiya television said. Army forces shelled several districts in Sana’a with artillery and mortars, the channel said.

The fighting began soon after midnight local time, intensifying around 3 a.m. as explosions shook various part of the capital, the Associated Press said. Fighting halted at dawn with the call for prayer and resumed shortly after, it said.
Shell Hits Clinic

Three people were killed when a mortar shell landed in a field clinic at Change Square in Sana’a and the Yemeni state TV building was also hit. A brother of the tribal leader Saghir bin Ali, loyal to Saleh, was among the dead, according to Arabiya.

The six-nation GCC has rejected a request by Saleh to make changes to the peace accord that would allow him to remain in power until 2013, AP said, citing an unidentified Yemeni foreign ministry official.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alan Bjerga in Washington at; Mohammed Hatem in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

Updated : 2021-10-25 07:01 GMT+08:00