Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dozens Opposition Militants Killed in Attack on Yemen Military Base

Sana'a, August 20, 2011

Dozens of opposition militants were killed in an attack on a Republican Guards' military base in northeast of Yemen's Sanaa province on Saturday, the ruling party' s website reported.

The attack took place in the Arhab district, some 60 km northeast of the capital Sanaa, a key stronghold of the opposition- backed fighters who support protesters' demand of ousting President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"The Republican Guards stationed in Samaa military base repelled the attack by militants led by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, a prominent figure of the opposition Islamic Islah (reform) party, and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, the commander of the defected First Armored Division," the website said.

"Dozens were killed, six bodies were identified as students of the al-Zindani-run Eyman University while the others were soldiers of the defected General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar," it said, adding that "the troops forced them to flee."

The volatile district has been the front line of almost daily clashes between the opposition fighters and Saleh's elite Republican Guards since late May, which have left dozens from both sides dead, including civilians, and forced hundreds of villagers to flee the area.

The Defense Ministry said the opposition militants were seeking to capture the Samaa military base, the Sanaa International Airport and northern entrances of Sanaa.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses told Xinhua that shelling by the Republican Guards on Saturday on Arhab's villages of Shaab, Bani Jarmouz and Marouza, left three opposition militants dead and two others injured.

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