Yemen – civil war beckons


The Yemeni President, Saleh survived an attack at the Presidential palace. A number of government officials were wounded – some of them critically. The imam who was doing his thing at the mosque inside the compound was one of the 7 people killed (the remainder were guards). The Age has more details:

 

Saleh, who has faced nationwide protests against his rule for the past four months, was “lightly wounded in the back of his head”, a leader of the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) party told AFP on Saturday.

His regime blamed the attack on powerful dissident tribesman Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, whose fighters have been battling government forces in the Yemeni capital since a truce crumbled on Tuesday.

“The Ahmar (tribe) have crossed all red lines,” GPC spokesman Tariq al-Shami said.

In an audio statement broadcast late on Friday on state television, Saleh, who was being treated at the defence ministry hospital in Sanaa, said: “I am well, in good health”, adding that the bombardment had killed seven people.

Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar also suffered burns to his face, while a source close to the presidency said deputy premier General Rashad al-Alimi was “critically wounded”.

Officials said the wounded included parliament chief Yahya al-Raie; Saleh’s private secretary Abdo Burji; Abdulaziz Abdulghani; head of Yemen’s consultative council, GPC MP Yasser al-Awadi; Sanaa governor Noman Duweik; and the mosque’s imam.

Later on Friday, Yemeni troops, who have deployed heavy weaponry in their battle against the tribesmen, shelled the home of Sheikh Hamid, a brother of Sheikh Sadiq.

Shelling in the neighbourhood of Hada also targeted the homes of their two other brothers, Hemyar and Mizhij, and that of dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

Sheikh Hamid accused Saleh of orchestrating the mosque attack as an “excuse to shell and destroy my home and the homes of my brothers, Hemyar and Mizhij, and that of Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar in an attempt to drag Yemen into civil war”.

Saleh last month ordered the arrest of the 10 Ahmar brothers, all sons of Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar, who was the president’s main ally until his death.

Artillery and heavy machine gun fire rocked the Al-Hasaba neighbourhood of northern Sanaa where Sheikh Sadiq has his base, witnesses said. They said the headquarters of national airline Yemenia was burnt down on Friday.

First, he lets AQ take over a city in the south of Yemen, and now his Presidential palace has been attacked, which has led to attacks on key opposition tribal figures. It is difficult trying to work out the truth when it comes to Yemen. Are the dissidents involved with AQ? Or is Saleh doing some double dealing?

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Married with children. Bachelor of Economics and Commerce, Melb 1975
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