x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Clashes between Yemen army and rebels leaves at least 14 dead

Fighting between Mr Saleh's troops and gunmen who support opposition tribal leaders erupted before dawn as loyalist troops tried to storm the city centre.

SANAA // At least 14 people were killed and 50 wounded yesterday in fighting between forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and gunmen in Taiz.

At least nine people died and more than 46 wounded in shelling by the army that targeted residential areas, said medics and activists.

Fighting between Mr Saleh's troops and gunmen who support opposition tribal leaders erupted before dawn as loyalist troops tried to storm the city centre. The gunmen, who have supported the protest movement against Mr Saleh's 33-year rule, stopped the soldiers from overrunning the city, witnesses said.

Government officials said five soldiers were killed and 15 others wounded, blaming "militias from Islah Islamist opposition party" for the clashes.

The National Council for the Peaceful Revolution Forces, an umbrella for opposition groups, condemned the shelling, saying it was an "intentional push for escalation" and considered it a breach by the army of the GCC-brokered plan and the UN Security Council. It also said the fighting in Taiz was meant to hamper the efforts to form a unity government, calling for an immediate end to the military operation.

A unity government is expected to be declared tomorrow or Sunday, an opposition leader said.

malqadhi@thenational.ae