Yemeni forces kill at least 9 in central city of Taiz
Forces loyal to Yemeni President Abdullah Saleh shelled the country's second largest city Taiz early on Friday, killing some nine people and wounding dozens of others, according to medics on the scene.
REUTERS - At least nine people were killed in heavy fighting in Yemen’s city of Taiz on Friday, witnesses and medical officials said, after a U.N. envoy flew to Sanaa in a new bid to ease President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of office under a Gulf peace plan.
They said at least 23 other people were wounded in the fighting between Republican Guards loyal to Saleh and tribal fighters based in the centre of Yemen’s third largest city, located some 200 km (120 miles) south of Sanaa.
Witnesses said two children and one women were among the nine people killed mostly by shrapnel from exploding tank shells or mortar rounds fired at the al-Rawda and Zaid al-Moshki districts as well as Freedom Square, where demonstrators demanding an end to Saleh’s 33-year-long rule usually gather to perform noon prayers every Friday.
The fighting broke out on Thursday after gunmen shot and critically wounded a soldier stationed at a government building. This was followed by the killing of a tribal leader allied with Saleh’s government and the wounding of one of his bodyguards.
U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar arrived in the capital Sanaa on Thursday in what a spokesman said was a mission aimed at “aimed at encouraging an inclusive transition process that meets the needs and aspirations of all Yemenis”.
“He will report back to the Secretary-General, who has been requested to inform the (U.N.) Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 2014,” said Martin Nesirky, spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said in a statement issued on Thursday.
His arrival was met with more optimism that Saleh, under increasing international pressure, may agree to step down.