(Guardian) Yemen locked in power struggle as escalation of fighting leaves 38 dead

Security forces loyal to Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh were locked in fierce gun battles on Tuesday in the capital Sana’a with guards from the country’s most powerful tribal federation whose leader is backing protesters’ demands for an end to the premier’s 33-year rule.

At least 24 soldiers and 14 tribesmen were killed and 24 injured in the skirmishes, dimming the prospects for a negotiated solution to Yemen’s political impasse.

The shootout, which pitted Saleh’s central security forces against guards of Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the Hashid tribal federation from which Saleh also hails, took place in sandbagged streets surrounding Ahmar’s fortified compound, near several government ministries and the ruling party’s headquarters.

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