Yemeni tribal fighters in Arhab and Nehm districts have taken control of one of the brigades of the elite Republican Guard force, Mareb Press reported.
About 400 soldiers were seized by the tribesmen, who also took over the weapons at the site in Arhab, the Yemeni news website said without giving a casualty toll.
The ruling General People’s Congress confirmed the attack on the brigade, though it said the assault had been pushed back and several attackers killed, according to al-Motamar website. The opposition Islah party and defected military leader Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar were behind the attack, it said.
Protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh started in January and have escalated with defections by military and tribal leaders. Fighting between tribesmen and Saleh’s forces has been going on intermittently for several months in Arhab and Nehm.
Forces loyal to Saleh launched heavy shelling on the two districts yesterday, one day after the president warned tribesmen opposing him against continuing attacks in these areas.
“The response will be strong,” Saleh was quoted as saying on Nov. 19 by the Saba state news agency. “It will be painful.”
Blasts were heard by residents in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, yesterday evening. One child in Nehm was killed in the shelling, the al-Sahwa opposition website reported.