Yemeni Forces May Be Targeting Military Defectors

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 9:45 am (UTC-5)
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Witnesses in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, say government forces have shelled a government building where army officers who have defected to the opposition are suspected to have taken refuge.

The shelling occurred during clashes in the capital between pro-government forces and loyalists to Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar, an opposition tribal chief. Medical officials and witnesses tallying deaths say at least 39 people were killed in the fighting late Tuesday and Wednesday.

Battles have been raging on several fronts in Yemen, an indication that a tenuous cease-fire announced Friday has broken down. On Tuesday, officials said militants killed at least five soldiers in an ambush outside the southern city of Zinjibar, which was seized by hundreds of Islamist fighters on Sunday.

In the southern city of Taiz, security forces fired on anti-government demonstrators, killing four people. At least 25 people have died in violence in Taiz over the past few days.