Five opposition militants killed in north Yemen: official

10:24, July 31, 2011      

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At least five opposition-backed armed tribesmen were killed in shelling by Republican Guards in Arhab district in northeastern Yemeni capital on Saturday, a security official said.

"Republican Guards shelled missiles and artillery on hideouts of the armed tribesmen in Arhab, who sided with protesters who demanded the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and tried on Thursday to storm the Republican Guards' military base, killing five gunmen and injuring several others," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The tribesmen's attempt to occupy the powerful military base on Thursday ignited fierce battles that left 40 soldiers and 35 tribesmen dead after Saleh's troops managed to kill the infiltrators and drove away the rest of the opposition fighters. The Defence Ministry accused the opposition of plotting to capture Sanaa International Airport and besieging northern entrances of the capital.

Arhab, about 60 km northeast of Sanaa, has witnessed sporadic clashes between Republican Guards and opposition armed tribesmen supported by defected army since late May that left dozens dead and forced hundreds of families to flee the area.

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