SANA’A, Oct. 23 — Following the issuing of a United Nations Security Council resolution, at least twenty soldiers have been reported dead in clashes between the regime forces and the defected First Armored Divison on October 15. The violence occurred in Sana’a’s Sofan, Hasaba and al-Madhbah neighborhoods. Mohsen vowed on March 21 of this year to protect the youth movement that has been protesting to topple president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year-old regime.
Saleh headed a Defense Council meeting on Sunday in which he was given a green light to continue battling with his opponents in Sana’a’s streets.
Meanwhile, clashes also resumed on Sunday on Hail street, with one man and one woman reported dead after receiving bullet wounds to the head after snipers opened fire. “These people were just passersby, and ended up being sniped by thugs atop roofs “said Saleem Alawo, a lawyer for the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms [HOOD].
Eyewitnesses from Hail Street told the Yemen Times that the clashes between Saleh’s troops and the Division led the public between Zubairi Street and Al-Quba Al-Khadra to panic.
“At 8:10 this morning, I was on the bus. When the bus passed by Al-Zubairy Street, troops from both sides suddenly fired on each other from a distance of less than 50 meters and with civilians, cars and buses in the middle,” said Abdulbasit Al-Shamery.
Ahmeed Al-Zaidi, a protester whose tent sits near where a shell hit, told the Yemen Times that he doesn’t mind dying while protesting and therefore will stay at his tent regardless of the risks to his life.
On Saturday, representatives of Mohsin’s First Armored Division announced that they have in their possession a recording of a phone call between president Saleh and his son in which the latter was urged to shell and destroy the First Armored Division’s headquarters. The headquarters sit north of Change Square, where the ongoing anti-government sit-in is located. Representatives also claimed that Saleh pushed for the shelling of Sana’a’s Hasaba neighborhood.
The Division claimed that Saleh told his son to kill all present in Hasaba. A source at the Presidential Palace declined that the president directed his son to order such violent attacks. The source continued to say that talking about recording a phone call is ridiculous and that the story has been fabricated by the Division in an effort to drag the country into war.
|This anonymous man was snipped in Hail Street on Sunday.
Asker Zuail, a spokesman for General Mohsin, promised to release the recording, in addition to more details on the recent days’ shellings.
Following the violence, anti-government protesters marched on Sunday from Change Square to Al-Rabat Street, even after recent attacks by regime thugs and Central Security forces. On their latest march to the Al-Qa’a area, hundreds of protesters where surrounded by thugs and some were even kidnapped.
“Last week’s kidnapped protesters were eventually set free,” said Saleem Alawo. “Five of the protesters were arrested by Central Security with no charges. Central Security took the five arrested protesters to Al-Olofi police station, and then transferred them to the Central Security again. When one of them managed to escape, they where then taken to a third location, which HOOD has not yet been able to identify.”
The UN Security Council condemned Human Rights violations in Yemen following the previous attacks made against protesters. “Strongly condemning what are called human rights violations by authorities, and abuses by other actors, in Yemen following months of political strife, the Security Council this afternoon demanded that all sides immediately reject violence, and called on them to commit to a peaceful transition of power based on proposals by the major regional organization of the Arabian Gulf,” read a Security Council statement released on Friday.