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Six more dead in Yemen clashes

Sanaa (Yemen), Thu, 14 Apr 2011 ANI

Sanaa (Yemen), Apr.14 (ANI): Intense clashes between troops devoted to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and anti- government troops loyal to General Ali Mohsin in Yemen have led to six more people being killed and many others being wounded.


Saleh's troops have been trying to forcefully gain control of the Amran Road checkpoint.


Residents said both sides traded fire with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades for an hour, resulting in deaths of two of Mohsin's men, three soldiers and a civilian.


Mohsin, a long-time confidant of Saleh, had earlier announced his support for "the peaceful revolution," by urging soldiers under his command to protect thousands of protesters gathered in Sanaa to demand Saleh's exit.


An interior ministry official said Mohsin's forces have been attacking Yemeni security forces to "expand their forces in the capital and open the doors of chaos."


"The clash between Mohsin's supporters and those loyal to Saleh is no surprise, and the longer the stalemate festers, the more likely full blown military confrontations become," The Guardian quoted Jane Novak, an analyst in Yemen's Interior Ministry as saying.


Protests continue in Yemen, despite efforts by Persian Gulf nations to ease tensions.


Saleh has agreed to step down and transfer power to his deputy following an initiative taken up by the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional bloc of Gulf States. However, he has insisted that he would only do so when his term ends in 2013.


Yemen's opposition coalition has rejected the Gulf initiative, describing it as vague. It also said offers of immunity for Saleh and his family were unjust.


The Joint Meeting Parties bloc, Yemen's largest opposition group, said the Gulf initiative "does not clearly state that Saleh must step down and only focuses on Saleh's transfer of power."


Yemen has been rocked by weeks of demonstrations for an end to Saleh's three-decade long rule. (ANI)


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