Clashes in Yemeni capital kill 20

AP News
Posted: Oct 22, 2011 5:30 PM
Clashes in Yemeni capital kill 20

Clashes between Yemeni government troops and a renegade army unit killed at least 20 people, including three civilians, in the capital Sanaa on Saturday, officials said.

The fighting broke out early Saturday between renegade soldiers joined by allied tribal fighters and government forces in the Hassaba neighborhood. The district has been the scene of a tense standoff for months between forces loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh and rivals who have sided with protesters demanding the longtime leader step down.

Saleh has managed to cling to power despite the mass demonstrations and growing international pressure resign. On Friday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution urging Saleh to immediately accept a power transfer deal and end escalating violence.

A government official said Saturday the regime is ready to deal "positively" with the resolution.

A Yemeni medical official said three civilians and five troops from the renegade army unit, lead by Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, were killed in Saturday's clashes, a medic said. One of the civilians killed was a staffer in a local TV station that was caught in the crossfire, station executive Mukhtar al-Qassasi said.

Seven tribal fighters and five government troops were also killed, officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they was not authorized to brief the press.