Deadly clashes killed eight people in the Yemeni capital as tension spiked following a new wave of killings of anti-regime protesters by troops loyal to veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Eight people were killed and 27 wounded in the overnight street battles, which saw tribes and troops opposing Saleh ranged against loyalists, medics and a tribal source said today.
France condemned the use of force against protesters and urged respect for human rights.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the use of force against demonstrators and call on parties to exercise retraint… Violence should stop and the international law, mainly human rights, should be respected,” said foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.
Four of the dead in the overnight clashes were killed in shelling that targeted Change Square, where protesters demanding the ouster of Saleh have camped out for months, medics said.
Some 10 rockets struck around the square, including one close to a field clinic, a medic at the facility said.
Fierce clashes took place in the northern Sanaa neighbourhood of Al-Hassaba between tribesmen led by Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, who opposes Saleh, and followers of Sheikh Saghir bin Aziz, who remains loyal to the embattled leader.
Bin Aziz’s brother, Sheikh Saleh, 35, was killed when shrapnel penetrated his head, a medic at the Saudi German hospital said, adding that five others were wounded.
Two people killed in clashes in Al-Hassaba and one of the four killed in the shelling of Change Square were taken to the Science and Technology Hospital, Dr Mohammed al-Sarmi said.