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Fierce fighting grips Yemen capital

Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 02:10

June 1 - Forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh battle with a powerful tribal group backing his ouster in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. Simon Hanna reports.

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A fire burns overnight in Sanaa as fierce fighting grips the capital. The sound of explosions and gunfire echo across the city. Clashes erupted after the end of a brief truce between a powerful tribal group calling for an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33 year reign, and forces loyal to the beleaguered president. But the renewed violence, which has killed at least 120 and pushed the country closer to civil war, has not dampened the spirits of anti-government protesters. (SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Protester: "The situation in terms of change is that the youths hopes are raised high. Even though yesterday there was a gun attack on Adel street and elsewhere. You should notice that those people are unbelievable, we have not seen anything like this before. They protesters are not scared and they can sleep under gun fire and rockets flying above their head." Anti-government demonstrators have been camped out for weeks calling for their president to step down. Demonstrators at the protest camp may still be in high spirits, but at a hospital in the capital it's clear that the violence in taking its toll. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HOSPITAL DOCTOR: "We received about 34 cases from 8 pm to 6 am. Most of them were seriously injured which were more than 20 cases. And they were sent to the surgery room strait away. The number of deaths is four, who died when they arrived." Fighting also broke out in the city of Taiz. These state television images show the aftermath of battles between pro and anti government forces. The U.N. is investigating reports that at least 50 people have been killed in the city since Saturday when government troops opened fire on protesters. Simon Hanna, Reuters.

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Fierce fighting grips Yemen capital

Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 02:10