Feb 26, 2012
Sana'a- At least two people were killed Sunday in fighting between army soldiers and insurgents in the central Yemeni town of Rada'a, reported local media.
The fighting started when a unit from the elite Republican Guards arrived in Rada'a, some 150 kilometres south-east of the capital Sana'a, to arrest a man suspected of stealing a soldier's gun, local sources told the Yemeni website Mareb Press.
The insurgents and soldiers exchanged fire, injuring four people, said the sources.
The two deaths were a soldier and the suspected thief of the gun, they added. A battalion of armed radicals with links to al-Qaeda last month seized Rada'a before releasing it following tribal mediation.
Militants - believed to be affiliated to al-Qaeda - have taken advantage of a year of political turmoil in Yemen to expand their influence in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
The opposition has accused former president Ali Abdullah Saleh of manipulating the threat of extremists to seek support from the West and extend his stay in power, despite months of protests against him.
Saleh eventually stepped down under a United Nations-sponsored power transfer deal, which he signed in November.
His successor, Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, vowed Saturday in his inaugural address to fight al-Qaeda across the country.