Yemeni armed tribesmen announces ceasefire with gov't forces

10:40, May 28, 2011      

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A truce was announced on Friday by opposition tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar to end five consecutive days of pitched street battles between his armed tribesmen and government forces in Yemen's capital.

"There is a ceasefire between our fighters and (Yemeni President) Saleh's forces in Hassaba district in downtown Sanaa," said Sadiq al-Ahmar, chief of the powerful tribal coalition Hashid.

Al-Ahmar confirmed the cease-fire deal following Friday prayer outside Sanaa University, in which tens of thousands of anti- government protesters mourned the death of 30 members of al-Ahmar' s fighters.

He said the deal was brokered by a tribal mediation.

There was no immediate comment by the government.

According to a source at al-Ahmar's office, the cease-fire deal stipulated that al-Ahmar should hand over the government buildings they had occupied to the mediation committee within two days.

The pitched street battles erupted on Monday, a day after President Saleh's refusal to sign a Gulf-brokered deal for the third time, which was considered by local observers as the beginning of a civil war.

The five-day-long battles have left hundreds of people dead as al-Ahmar's fighters managed to seize several government buildings and ministries.

Many residents in the capital have been departing for remote countryside in other provinces due to the intensification of random bombings.

Source: Xinhua
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