Opposition factions in Sana’a are escalating the violence as the political crisis continues. In south Yemen, al Qaeda-linked militants remain in control of territory in Abyan.
Fighting entered a third day in Sana’a. Witnesses reported that Republican Guard troops were shelling the headquarters of the defected First Armored Division and that security forces and opposition tribesmen were fighting in al Hasaba district. Overnight fighting occurred near Kentucky Roundabout on al Zubayri Street between defected First Armored Division troops and pro-government troops.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh accused al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood of instigating the violence in Sana’a. Saleh said, “We have strong proofs of the cooperation between the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.” He noted that their actions point to a military coup currently destabilizing the country. Regarding the pending UN Security Council resolution, Saleh noted, “Some friendly states, permanent members of the (Security Council) such as China and Russia, will not take a hardline position like some other permanent members.”
Tribesmen ambushed al Qaeda-linked militants near Zinjibar, killing four militants and capturing three others, including a Saudi national. A tribal source reported the militants were transporting materiel Sunday night and that the tribesmen destroyed a “D-130” tank in the militants’ possession. In Aden, security officials reported that three suspected terrorists, who were in possession of explosive devices, were detained.
Gunmen assassinated a Political Security Office sergeant in al Mukalla in Hadramawt governorate. Two men on a motorcycle shot at the sergeant’s car, killing him. Official sources have blamed al Qaeda for the attack.
The ongoing political crisis in the capital has placed the Yemeni state at risk of a broader armed conflict. Further, the Yemeni state has been undergoing fragmentation. Al Qaeda has seized control of territory in south Yemen and the current situation has increased the organization’s operating space in the country.
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