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6 people killed in clashes between gov't troops, opposition gunmen in southern Yemen

(Xinhua)

18:46, December 01, 2011

ADEN/SANAA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Intense clashes erupted Thursday morning between Yemeni government forces and opposition militants, killing at least six people and injuring more than 26 others in southern province of Taiz, witnesses and medics said.

"Four armed tribesmen and two civilians were killed and 26 others, including 10 civilians, were wounded in the clashes," a local medic told Xinhua.

Witnesses said the rival forces used artillery and heavy machine-guns in the clashes that took place before Thursday dawn in and around Rawda neighborhood in central Taiz city as the security forces blocked all roads leading to neighborhoods downtown.

Opposition leaders accused the government troops of attempting to storm Rawda neighborhood, a stronghold of the opposition armed tribesmen who pledged support for protesters against outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

On the other hand, a provincial security official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that Taiz's general security head Abdullah Qairan was slightly injured on his neck by a gunshot by the opposition-led rebels on Thursday morning.

He added that two of Qairan's bodyguards were also wounded during the clashes.

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