Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clashes between rivals flare in south Yemen following breakdown of truce

June 18, 2011

Clashes flared earlier Friday between Yemeni government forces and opposition-backed armed tribesmen in southern province of Taiz after a tribal-mediated truce failed, local officials and witnesses said.

A local councilman said the rival traded shootings at the western rim of Taiz, the country's second largest city, located 200 km south of the capital Sanaa.

Sounds of tank's shells were heard in the area as more military forces were deployed around Taiz presidential palace and the " Liberation Square", where anti-government protesters resumed their sit-in, witnesses said.

No casualties were reported.

Government officials blamed the armed tribesmen for refusing to hand over the government buildings they seized during the last week clashes.

Meanwhile, pro-and anti-government protesters reportedly continued Friday their rallies in 17 major provinces.

The rallies of government supporters raised pictures of wounded president, waiting for his return from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where he is being treated for injuries from an assassination attack on his Sanaa palace on June 3.

Anti-government protesters, however, called for all opposition political forces to accelerate forming a transitional presidential council to rule the country during post-Saleh era.

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