June 1, 2011- Early Wednesday the fighting in Yemen’s capital city of Sana continued as troops from the government battled tribesmen from the opposition fighting for control of key strategic locations such as the Interior Ministry and the television station run by the state. Government troops fired artillery shells from the station’s headquarters at the fighters that are loyal to Hamid al-Ahmar who is the strongest of the tribal leaders opposed to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The scene of the most intense engagement between the government forces and tribesmen has been in the Hasaba neighborhood. A brief cease fire broke down on Monday causing the fighting to rage once again. The tribesmen have control of a large majority of the neighborhood and that includes many of the government buildings and ministries that are located there.
Kuwait’s diplomats were recalled from Yemen because of the dangerous security situation in the country. While Italy had said they would temporarily close their diplomatic offices a day earlier. The fighting began early last week in Sana after Saleh refused once again to sign an agreement that would lead to his eventual resignation.
Harsh crackdowns on protesters occurred throughout the country but the hardest was last Sunday in Taiz where a reported 50 people were killed when security forces and gunmen in plainclothes swept into the main square to disperse the crowds. The US Embassy in Sana has condemned the attack as unjustified and unprovoked. The crackdowns were responded to by more protests on Tuesday.