Last updated: 15 October, 2011

Ten killed in Yemeni tribal clashes

Ten gunmen from the Hashid tribe that has sided with protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh were killed on Saturday in clashes with tribes loyal to the embattled leader, a tribal source said.

The followers of the tribal leader Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar were killed in shelling that targeted their position in the Sufan residential neighbourhood, near Al-Hassaba area, the stronghold of the Ahmar clan, a source in the sheikh’s office said.

The shelling hit an area where the home of Ahmar’s brother Hemyar, who is the vice speaker of the parliament, is situated, the source said.

The office of the Yemeni-owned Al-Saeedah satellite television, which broadcasts from abroad, was also hit in the shelling, according to the management of the channel.

Ahmar gunmen were engaged Saturday in fierce fighting with the partisans of Sheikh Saghir bin Aziz, a tribal leader who remained loyal to Saleh after months of nationwide protests demanding his ouster.

The clashes began overnight and continued Saturday as security forces in another part of Sanaa killed at least 12 protesters rallying to demand the removal of Saleh from office.

Fierce clashes between Ahmar’s tribesmen and loyal troops in Al-Hassaba in May killed more than 140 people before the two sides agreed a truce.

But armed confrontations have erupted frequently since then.

Tribes wield much influence in impoverished Yemen, where the Hashid is a heavily armed tribal confederation capable of rallying and financing thousands of fighters.