Southern Yemenis bombard Sanaa

SOUTHERN Yemeni forces launched air and missile attacks on the capital, Sanaa, and northern troops advanced on the southern port of Aden in the worst fighting since the country united four years ago.

Yemen's official Saba news agency said southern forces, numerically inferior to the army of the north, but with superior air power, fired five Russian-made Scud missiles at Sanaa. The missiles, launched from bases near Aden, 180 miles away, caused no casualties or serious damage, it said.

A north Yemen official said the capital came under repeated southern air attacks. He said raiding southern warplanes had bombed at random on Sanaa, 'causing damage to some civilian areas'.

About 16 foreigners, including 13 Britons, arrived in Djibouti on a fishing boat after fleeing the fighting in Aden yesterday, as French naval vessels took off 560 more. The fishing boat Jules Verne started loading evacuees yesterday morning and the frigate Commandant Bory, and two other vessels, joined the rescue operation.

A statement issued from north Yemen said loyal troops were advancing towards Aden and would not stop until they had control of the capital of former South Yemen.

It was only eight years ago that the Royal Yacht Britannia was diverted to Aden to take off foreigners caught up in the bloodbath between rival factions in what was then the Marxist People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.

Four years later, the PDRY joined with the Yemen Arab Republic to form a single country, Yemen. But the failure properly to integrate the two has helped spark the current eruption of fighting between armed forces of north and south.

Southern forces loyal to Vice- President Ali Salem al-Baidh stationed in the north were driven back by northern forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The northern and southern military commands issued rival claims of successes. The south said it had shot down five aircraft bombing Aden. The defence ministry in Sanaa in the north said a brigade commander had been captured as he tried to flee Dhamar, scene of heavy fighting 62 miles (100km) south of Sanaa.

Foreigners and embassy personnel in Sanaa appeared as much worried by power cuts as power struggles. Phone lines to Sanaa and Aden were down and the airport remained closed.

Among those stranded in the Yemeni capital was the US State Department's top official dealing with the Middle East, Robert Pelletreau. The Arab League is due to meet today in emergency session to discuss how to stop the fighting.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
film
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
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

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Retail Lecturer / Assessor / Tutor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried