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Yemen on the brink

Friday, June 03, 2011 - 02:36

June 2 - Fighting continues in Sanaa with little sign of relief in a country of 23 million people that is awash with guns. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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A tribal fighter takes aim in Yemen. Forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh broke a short ceasefire to battle with tribal opponents in Yemen's capital city of Sanaa. At least 135 people have been killed in fighting in the past 10 days. The sound of gunfire rings through the streets. The fighting comes as Saleh has reneged on deals brokered by regional leaders to secure a peaceful end to his nearly 33 years in power. Global powers fear that chaos in Yemen will empower al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Scores of people have been wounded in the clashes. The city of Sanaa has become a battlefield. Analysts say the outside world has little leverage in Yemen, where tribal allegiances are the most powerful element in a volatile social fabric. Saudi Arabia, which has strong, long-standing ties with Yemeni tribes, is likely to try to apply another round of pressure on Saleh to step aside. The hope is to find a way to avert disaster in a country of 23 million people that is awash with guns. Instead the body count keeps rising. By nightfall smoke was seen at the airport. Flights had already been suspended due to the fighting. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Yemen on the brink

Friday, June 03, 2011 - 02:36