Yemeni government troops battle opponents, 8 dead

October 17, 2011 13:49

SANAA - At least eight people were killed in Yemen's capital Sanaa in overnight clashes between government forces and fighters allied with activists demanding an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33 years in office, witnesses said on Monday.

Witnesses said six civilians were among those killed in the fighting between government troops on one side, and fighters loyal to tribal leader Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar on the other. Ahmar's fighters are backed by a breakaway army unit led by a general from the same tribe, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

A shell killed three people when it landed near a field hospital set up at "Change Square", where thousands of protesters have camped for months demanding Saleh step down, witnesses said.

Violence in Yemen has surged since Saturday as UN Security Council members consider a resolution expected to urge Saleh to step down under a peace plan hammered out by neighboring Gulf states.

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