Shelling and sporadic gunfire continues in Sana’a, despite implementation of a ceasefire. Fighting broke out along central Ashreen (20th) Street. Residents report that there was gunfire and that mortar shells targeted snipers’ positions in buildings. Government forces fired mortar shells at a central district in Sana’a where tens of thousands of people gathered for slain protestors’ funerals. Three people were killed and over a dozen injured. An official from the defected First Armored Division said that the shelling was targeting the troops’ headquarters. Reports also indicate that at least four people have been killed by sniper fire near Tagheer (Change) Square. Loyalist and defected troops have reportedly resumed fighting near Hayel Street. The ceasefire had been negotiated by the vice president and international mediators.
Defected troops report that they have only engaged loyalist soldiers to protect protestors. Abdul Ghani al Shamiri, a spokesman for defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, said, “The defected military is not fighting the government. We are defending and not attacking….We cannot watch government troops attack innocent protesters and not help them. We will insist that the revolution remains peaceful but in the same time ensure that unarmed protesters are safe.”
Clashes are ongoing in south Yemen. Fighting outside of Zinjibar in Abyan governorate killed five al Qaeda-linked militants and a Yemeni soldier. Reporting remains limited out of south Yemen.
International actors are pushing for the acceptance of a transition deal. The U.S. State Department issued statement condemning the violence in Yemen and calling for the rapid signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) transition deal. An Arab parliamentary body is seeking for Yemen’s suspension from the Arab League until the Yemeni leadership accepts the transition deal.
A resolution to the political crisis in the capital will not end the fragmentation of the Yemeni state, which remains at risk of a broader armed conflict. The current situation has increased al Qaeda's operating space in Yemen.
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