Yemeni government, opposition tribal chief reach cease-fire agreement

10:11, May 29, 2011      

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Yemen's tribal militants stand guards in Sanaa, capital of Yemen, May 28, 2011. Yemeni government and armed tribesmen led by an opposition tribal chief reached a temporary truce on Saturday to end five-day pitched battles in the capital that has killed at least 127 people, tribal mediators said. (Xinhua)

Yemeni government and armed tribesmen led by the opposition tribal chieftain Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar on Saturday reached a temporary truce to end pitched battles in the capital that has killed at least 127 people, tribal mediators said.

The agreement includes the hand-over of government buildings occupied by the armed tribesmen during the conflicts to the mediators, who would later hand them over to the government.

The deal stated to end all forms of military presence and to normalize the situation in the war-torn areas, according to opposition's media.

The deal also stipulated that the government forces should not attack al-Ahmar's house again, the mediators told Xinhua.

However, witnesses said that despite the cease-fire, sporadic, heavy shoot-outs were still heard in the area late on Saturday.

The pitched street fighting erupted Monday between government forces and armed tribal guards of al-Ahmar, the leader of the powerful Hashed tribes' confederation.

The gunbattles, in which al-Ahmar's fighters took over several government buildings, occurred in Hassaba district in downtown Sanaa, a day after Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign a deal to ease him out of power within a month.

Earlier the day, al-Ahmar called on the army and Republican Guards to give up support to President Saleh and join the protesters who have been demanding the immediate ousting of Saleh, according to al-Ahmar's speech published by opposition media outlets.

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Source: Xinhua
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