Sana’a Rocked by Gunfire as Yemen Violence Picks Up After Lull

Plumes of smoke were seen above the skyline of the Yemeni capital as heavy gunfire broke a lull in violence that spiked after President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned to the country last week.

At least one person died and five were wounded today when the home of Himiar al-Ahmar, deputy speaker of parliament, in Sana’a was targeted by the Republican Guards, according to the Al-Sahwa opposition website. Himiar is the brother of Sadiq al- Ahmar, head of the Hashid tribal confederation and a key opposition leader.

Civilians living near the state television building said their homes were hit by random shells. Mohammed al-Jamali, a resident, said at least one civilian was killed. “We appeal to the international community and human rights organizations to intervene to protect our lives,” he said.

Saleh returned to Yemen on Sept. 23 after three months abroad and called for talks with opposition groups who are seeking his ouster. The leaders of street demonstrations, which resumed today in Sana’a, have called for the president to be arrested over his violent suppression of protests.

The demonstrations in the Arab world’s poorest country began at the end of January, inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, and deepened as military and tribal leaders joined the opposition. Efforts by Gulf Arab countries to broker a power- transfer agreement have failed.

Saleh spent his time abroad in neighboring Saudi Arabia receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained in an attack on his compound in June.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mohammed Hatem in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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