x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Tank fire kills three at Yemeni opposition tribal chief's home

A Yemeni tank fired on a house belonging to Sheikh Sadeq Al Ahmar, a tribal chief who opposes President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

SANAA // Three people were killed in the capital yesterday after a Yemeni tank fired on a house belonging to a tribal chief who opposes President Ali Abdullah Saleh, security force officials said.

The officials said two of the wounded in Hassaba neighbourhood were followers of Sheikh Sadeq Al Ahmar, the leader of Yemen's most influential tribal confederation - Hashid. Mr Al Ahmar supports the protesters' calls for Mr Saleh to step down.

One shell exploded at dawn close to Mr Al Ahmar's residence. Two civilians were killed immediately while the third victim died later of injuries sustained in the explosion, a witness said.

The tank attack followed clashes on Wednesday between Mr Saleh's forces and tribesmen supporting Mr Al Ahmar.

Mr Al Ahmar was not home during the attack.

Meanwhile yesterday in Taiz, one protester was killed and 14 wounded when Yemeni troops opened fire on tens of thousands of people demonstrating to demand Mr Saleh step down immediately.

"They have used live bullets, tear gas and water cannon when we were protesting," said Naif Al Wafi, a protester.

"Some of the injured are in a critical condition while dozens others suffered from tear-gas inhalation."

He said the protesters were confronted by members of the Republican Guard, which is headed by Mr Saleh's son, Ahmed, and local security forces.

According to medics and protest organisers, the man who was killed died from injuries he sustained after being shot in his spine.

Activists said that about 1,000 protesters held a sit-in in front of Al Shaab school after the original demonstration had been dispersed.

Officials from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded in an on-the-ground assessment released this week that many Yemenis have peacefully demonstrated for greater freedom in the past six months but have been "met with excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force by the state".

A UN report said hundreds have died and thousands more have been injured in violence in Yemen.

malqadhi@thenational.ae