The progress in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, toward implementing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal and removing military forces from the city has not been matched elsewhere in Yemen. Protests continue in Aden and Taiz, both former capitals, which will challenge the new government.
Taiz residents continue to turn out in force to protest the immunity bill in front of Yemen’s parliament. Thousands of Taizis gathered in the city’s center Friday. Labor workers protested outside of the Labor Office earlier in the week, demanding the resignation of corrupt officials. Further, demonstrators also seek trial for those involved in the violent crackdown on protesters. Brigadier General Abdullah Qairan officially stepped down from his position. Qairan headed the security forces in Taiz since March 2011.
Fighting flared up between Sunni Salafist fighters and Shiite al Houthi rebels in north Yemen. A Salafist spokesman reported that four fighters were killed after the al Houthi rebels attacked their position near Sa’ada city Thursday. Abdul Malik al Houthi, the leader of the rebel group, blamed the fighting on Salafists who attacked civilians in Ahem area Wednesday. Fighting also broke out in Mustaba, a city in Hajjah governorate, Thursday. Reports say that at least 18 people were killed.
Security forces cracked down on a protest in Aden, firing at demonstrators and using tear gas. Some reports indicate that armed demonstrators returned fire. Two people were killed and at least 13 people injured, including three soldiers. Thousands of Yemenis turned out across the country Thursday to demonstrate against the bill granting President Ali Abdullah Saleh and members of his government immunity.
Aden, the former capital of south Yemen, has become increasingly restive over the past year. Militants used heavy artillery to attack a government vehicle in Aden Wednesday. A political security officer was killed and seven others were injured, according to senior security officials. A string of attacks on government and military officials has occurred in the city.
Yemeni troops and al Qaeda-linked militants continue to fight in Abyan governorate. Clashes in Zinjibar killed three Yemeni troops, including a colonel, and four al Qaeda-linked militants Thursday. The soldiers were loading a mortar shell when it exploded.