Yemen tribesmen clash with soldiers

Tribesmen loyal to Yemen's embattled president have clashed with a group of soldiers whose commander has sided with the opposition, leaving three tribesmen dead, according to tribal elders and military officials.









The fighting in a suburb of the capital Sanaa was the latest violence in weeks of turmoil in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh's military and police forces have cracked down on protesters demanding he step down after 32 years in power.



The clash erupted as a convoy of about 30 cars carrying armed tribesmen from Saleh's Sanhan tribe arrived at the headquarters of the 1st Armoured Division in western Sanaa to meet its commander, Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who had earlier joined the opposition.



Tribal members and army officers at the scene said Maj Gen al-Ahmar, who also hails from Saleh's tribe, met a tribal chief, Ismail Abu Hurriya, who tried to persuade the renegade commander to return to the president's camp.



It was unclear how the shooting started at the gate of the army compound. Several tribesmen were also wounded by the gunfire, witnesses said. Some said a group of government supporters appeared at the scene and opened fire but the reports could not be immediately clarified.



Security officials said the visit was an attempt by Saleh to mediate with Maj Gen al-Ahmar.



Saleh's office said in a statement earlier that the president had met some leaders of his tribe to discuss the tensions.



The powerful Sanhan tribe is split between those remaining loyal to Saleh and those who have crossed over to the opposition. The tribe is also affiliated with the Hashid, the country's biggest and most powerful tribe, which has sided with the opposition.



Maj Gen al-Ahmar's troops have stationed themselves close to the central square near Sanaa University to protect thousands of anti-Saleh protesters who have been camping for weeks, refusing to give up their protest until Saleh leaves office.



Meanwhile, Yemen's opposition parties urged the international community, regional powers and human rights groups to help stop the bloodshed in the country. More than 120 people have been killed and 5,000 injured since Yemen's protests started on February 11, inspired by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.



The parties issued a statement accusing Saleh, his sons and relatives, as well as security and military apparatuses they control, of carrying out planned attacks against peaceful demonstrations with the intent to kill.



Saleh has clung to power, saying Yemen will sink into chaos if he goes.



In Taiz, dozens of protesters were treated for breathing problems after police fired tear gas as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets for a third consecutive day to press for Saleh's removal.



On Monday, at least 15 people were killed when military forces and police snipers opened fire on the demonstrators who marched past the governor's headquarters in Taiz.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine