At least 12 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in renewed clashes in Yemen’s capital and its second city, medics and activists said on Wednesday, after a brief period of calm.
Armed clashes broke out early Wednesday in the flashpoint city of Taez between government forces and tribesmen who support a mass protest movement calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation, said activists.
At least nine people were killed, including two gunmen, six civilians and a 13-year-old boy, and 40 others were wounded in the ensuing violence, medical officials said.
Residents and gunmen said pro-Saleh troops were targeting Taez neighbourhoods with heavy weapons, including mortar and tank shells, damaging some high-rise buildings.
Witnesses said fires and smoke were seen rising from the city.
In Sanaa, intermittent clashes erupted late Tuesday in Hasaba district between government troops and gunmen loyal to influential tribal chief Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, killing at least three people, including two tribesmen and a policemen, said medical officials and the interior ministry.
At least seven others were wounded in the restive district, the scene of fierce clashes and shelling in recent weeks, said the medics.
The violence comes after a brief lull in bloodshed where government troops have been battling a nine-month uprising by pro-democracy activists, dissident soldiers, and tribal gunmen against Saleh’s 33-year-rule.
International and regional mediators have failed to secure a Gulf-sponsored deal between Saleh and his opponents that would ensure a peaceful transition of power to the vice president until early elections for a new president.
The deadlock has left Yemen’s economy in a shambles, its government in chaos and has triggered a wave of unrest that has killed hundreds of lives and injured thousands more since the start of the anti-Saleh protest movement in January.