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4 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 December, 2017 09:20:51 PM
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YEMEN CRISIS

Fresh clashes rage as ‘street war’ UAE denies missile attack

AFP

SANAA: Fresh clashes forced schools shut and shops shuttered in the Yemeni capital Sanaa yesterday, as residents warned a three-year rebel alliance was crumbling into a "street war", reports AFP.

Witnesses said forces loyal to powerful ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh had cut off a number of streets in central Sanaa and deployed heavily in anticipation of a possible attack by the Huthi rebels.

Loyalists of the former strongman renewed a bid to seize control of Al-Jarraf district, a stronghold of the Iran-backed Huthis, while the rebels fortified their positions with dozens of vehicles mounted with machine guns.

Residents of various neighbourhoods said they had barricaded themselves in their homes to avoid snipers and shelling as clashes flared up around key ministries where the two sides had been working together just days before.

The education ministry cancelled classes Sunday, normally the start of the school week, out of concern for students and teachers.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi yesterday denied a claim by Iran-backed Huthi rebels that a missile fired from Yemen reached its air space or threatened a nuclear power plant set to open in 2018.

"The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority denied claims by the Huthis in Yemen that they launched a missile today towards the airspace of the United Arab Emirates," the Emirati state news agency reported.

The authority sought to dampen fears that Abu Dhabi -- and specifically the Barakah nuclear plant -- was vulnerable to attack, saying the UAE "has an air defence system capable of dealing with any threat of any kind".

The Huthi rebels earlier yesterday claimed to have hit the Barakah plant, a "strategic target", with a cruise missile fired from Yemen.

In a statement broadcast by their news outlet Al-Masirah, the rebels said the attack followed a "successful" November 30 missile launch against Saudi Arabia, which along with the UAE is waging a military campaign against the Huthis.

Saudi Arabia said it had intercepted the missile but an earlier Huthi attack on November 4 threatened Riyadh international airport and prompted the Saudi-led coalition to tighten an already crippling blockade on Yemen.

The Huthis' latest claim came as their ally of three years, Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, threatened to bypass the Iran-backed rebels and negotiate with the Saudi-led coalition.

Witnesses said some of the bodies from previous days' clashes were still strewn in the capital.

Iyad al-Othmani, 33, said he had not left his house for three days because of the clashes and tensions.

Mohammed Abdullah, a private sector employee, said his street had been cut off by militiamen and he was staying home to avoid checkpoints.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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