Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Smoke poured from buildings in the north of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, amid gunfire and explosions after the declaration of a cease-fire between President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government and two of his opponents.
The state’s SABA news agency said the agreement was to have been in force from 3 p.m. local time today to stop hostilities between Saleh’s forces and those of Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the country’s most influential tribal group, and General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, leader of an armored division that defected. Previous cease-fires have failed to hold.
There have been protests almost daily since January to demand the removal of Saleh, a U.S. ally who has held power for more than three decades. The unrest, inspired by the revolts that ousted the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, deepened when tribal and military leaders joined the opposition. Saleh returned to Yemen Sept. 23 after receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia for injuries sustained in a June attack on his compound.
At least 12 people died in violence in Sana’a and Taiz today. That includes seven civilians killed by shelling in Taiz and three soldiers who died in clashes with gunmen in the southern city, according to an Interior Ministry statement carried by SABA. Two protesters were killed and 53 wounded in gunfire in Sana’a, according to doctors.
The United Nations Security Council, in an Oct. 21 resolution, condemned the violence in Yemen and urged Saleh to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered proposal under which he would leave office.
--With assistance from Caroline Alexander in London. Editors: Heather Langan, Louis Meixler
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