Saturday, 4 June 2011

Taiz in chaos, armed tribesmen replace soldiers

By Nasser Arrabyee/04/06/2011

The Yemeni central city of Taiz has become in a total chaos after security forces have withdrawn from the streets, and opposition armed tribesmen supporting the anti-Saleh protests, have replaced them, local residents said Saturday.

Armed with machineguns and RPGs, the tribesmen who came from districts outside the city, like Sharab, Samee, Waziyah, and Jabal Habashi, open fire on any military car in the streets.

The security director of Taiz Abdullah Kairan, survived an assassination attempt by such tribesmen on Friday.

The security deployment is only around the presidential palace and the compound of the local government.
The tribesmen who are mainly led by two prominent opposition figures, Sultan Al Samee, and Hamoud Al Mekhlafi, occupied many government buildings on Saturday and looted others, according to eyewitnesses.

“I saw armed tribesmen and protesters looting the building of the prosecution office, Saba news agency, and election committee buildings in Ausaifera area,” said Saeed Mahyoob, a shopkeeper in the area.

The tribesmen say they want to take revenge for the protesters who were cleared from their main square last week by the government forces after they had kidnapped and tortured two soldiers from a police station close to their square.

“The tribesmen who came to protect us cleared the soldiers and check points from the city,” Said Riyadh Al Adeeb, one of the leading protesters.

“The check points now are only outside the city, and security deployment is only around the presidential palace,” Al Adeeb added.

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