A violent crackdown on protesters in Taiz, even as the Yemeni regime resumes negotiations for a transfer of power, may drive Yemen further toward broader armed conflict. Yemen’s prolonged unrest may also help unify the factionalized Southern Movement, which calls for secession from the north.
Violence in Taiz flared over the past two days. Shelling in Taiz killed fifteen people and injured dozens more. The shelling has focused on al Rawda and Zeid al Mushky neighborhoods in Taiz. Security forces also began operations in Freedom Square. Witnesses reported that fighting, sparked Thursday by the death of a loyalist soldier, occurred in six different areas in the city. Opposition tribesmen claimed to have injured four loyalist soldiers during the fighting; Yemen’s defense ministry reported that two soldiers were killed. Loyalist troops are positioned inside al Thawra (Revolution) Hospital and have set up at least 22 checkpoints along the main roads in Taiz. Reports also indicate that tanks and armored vehicles re-entered the city after leaving Wednesday.
Al Qaeda-linked militants publicly lashed five youths in Jaar in Abyan governorate. The youths, who each received 80 lashes, had been accused of taking drugs. Six al Qaeda-linked militants died in clashes between the militants and Yemeni army troops in Zinjibar, south of Jaar, according to a government official. Continue reading