SANAA - Clashes broke out in Sanaa on Tuesday between Yemeni troops and about 200 members of the elite Republican Guards who surrounded the Defense Ministry in a direct challenge to a presidential reorganization of the military, an army source said.
Extra government troops had been sent to defend the ministry building and shooting began after the Republican Guard soldiers surrounded it, the source said.
Residents said they had seen armored vehicles in the area and heard heavy gunfire. "Gunshots were coming from everywhere, we don't know who is shooting at whom, the whole area is blocked," said Mohammed Ali, a taxi driver who was near the area when the fighting started.
"Fighting broke out between the forces that are securing the Defense Ministry and members of the Republican Guards," the army source said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.