Clashes continue between Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters and government troops as a ceasefire has reportedly been revoked.
Ansarullah revolutionaries, also known as Houthis, battled soldiers near the Presidential Palace and elsewhere across the capital, Sana’a, on Monday.
According to witnesses, gunfire and several explosions were heard around the city and near the palace in southern Sana’a as columns of black smoke could be seen rising over the place.
“Oh God! There are bodies on street,” a Yemeni activist wrote in a message posted on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Houthis’ al-Maseera satellite television channel said the military opened fire on their patrol in the area of the palace, which led to the outbreak of violence.
Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi does not live at the palace; however, additional soldiers and tanks surrounded his residence nearby amid irregular gunfire, witnesses said.
Yemneni Information Minister Nadia Sakkaf had earlier said Hadi cut a ceasefire deal with Houthi fighters. This came as clashes later resumed, with more smoke billowing out of the Presidential Palace.
Sakkaf further said that Prime Minister Khaled Bahah’s convoy was targeted after leaving Hadi’s home. He has reportedly escaped the attack unharmed.
She further said that Ansarullah forces have taken control of the country’s state-run media.
In a separate development, Yemeni media reported that the oil production in Hadhramaut province’s Masila field came to a halt on Monday.
Yemen has seen rising tensions between Ansarullah fighters and government troops after the fighters arrested Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Hadi’s chief of staff, at a checkpoint in the country’s southern district of Hada.
Mubarak is also the secretary general of the national dialogue committee which aims to secure a political transition in the strife-torn country. Ansarullah revolutionaries accuse him of being a foreign agent.
The violence apparently stems from Houthis’ rejection of a draft constitution that seeks to divide the country into six federal regions.