Dozens Killed in Battle at Elite Yemen Army Camp

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 10:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Heavy clashes between Yemeni forces and armed tribesmen who attacked a Republican Guard training facility have killed dozens of people 40 kilometers north of the capital, Sana'a.

Yemeni officials said Thursday the elite unit, backed by government warplanes, shelled and bombed hundreds of tribesmen who had seized part of the al-Samaa military camp.

The Defense Ministry said loyalist troops suffered “heavy losses” and the attackers sought to gain control of Sana'a International Airport. Tribal sources confirmed casualties, saying “dozens were killed and wounded” from both sides.

The government accused the Islamist opposition Al-Islah party militia of involvement in the raid on the training camp.

Separately, at least one soldier was killed and another wounded in the southern city of Taiz near a square where anti-government protesters have been camped for months.

The Reuters news agency quoted a security source as saying militias connected to Yemen's main opposition coalition set up an ambush resulting in the casualties.

Demonstrators seeking an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule have been staging a series of protests throughout the country.

Mr. Saleh remains in Saudi Arabia where he is recovering from injuries sustained in a June attack on his presidential compound.