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One defected soldier killed in clashes with gov't troops outside Yemeni capital

(Xinhua)

11:10, August 15, 2011

SANAA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Fierce clashes between the Yemeni government troops and defected army flared up Sunday in the eastern suburbs of the capital Sanaa, leaving one dissident soldier dead and five others from both sides injured, a military official said.

"Forces of the defected First Armored Division attempted to establish new military checkpoints in the Dhulaa Hamdan district, but the troops of the Republican Guards intercepted the former's process as shoot-out erupted on the spot," the official told Xinhua.

"One soldier of the defected army, which was commanded by General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, was killed and five others from both sides were wounded," said the official on condition of anonymity. "Heavy weapons were used against each other."

The Dhulaa Hamdan district is strategically placed in one of the capital's most important western entrances and separates the defected division's base in western Sanaa and a Republican Guards base in the western suburb of the capital.

The military commanders of the First Armored Division defected from the government in March and joined the opposition-backed protest movement to press for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster.

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