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Three civilians killed, 22 injured in heavy shelling in Yemen's Taiz province

(Xinhua)

12:36, October 05, 2011

SANAA, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- At least three civilians were killed and 22 others were wounded when Yemeni government troops shelled several residential areas in the southern restive province of Taiz early Wednesday, medics and witnesses said.

"One of the residents identified as Hashid al-Amiry was killed in the random shelling, and 20 other civilians, including a child, were wounded, four of them in critical conditions," one doctor at a field hospital in a camp of anti-government protesters told Xinhua.

"Another two civilians were also confirmed killed and two others were injured during the ongoing shelling," the doctor told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.

Eyewitnesses told Xinhua that "opposition-led armed tribesmen, who sided with the protesters demanding an immediate end to the 33- year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, began to fire back against Saleh's loyalist troops, destroying a tank of the government's elite Republican Guards."

On Tuesday, shelling hit some residential areas of Sharaab village in Taiz, some 200 km south of the capital Sanaa, injuring several civilians and destroying dozens of houses, according to local medics.

Elsewhere in Sanaa, two defected soldiers and two children were killed and another five civilians were injured on Tuesday when the forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh shelled a neighborhood near an anti-government protesters' camp outside Sanaa University, doctor Mohammed al-Qubity told Xinhua.

Despite mediation efforts by the UN envoy to Yemen, who left Sanaa on Monday without producing a solution to end the country's nine-month-long political impasse, the impoverished Arab state is still in the grip of heavy clashes between government forces and anti-government protesters backed by defected army and opposition- led armed tribesmen.

Tension has escalated since the embattled president returned to Yemen after spending more than three months in Saudi Arabia for recovering from injuries he sustained in an attack on his Sanaa palace on June 3.

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