Two dead in fighting between Yemeni government, opposition
Fighting between forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his opponents left a woman and girl dead, the Yemen News agency reported Sunday.
A 25-year-old woman and the girl, 10, died after mortar shells hit a house in the southern city of Taiz, which has been a flashpoint of the opposition's demonstrations since February against Saleh's rule, dpa reported.
The state news agency SABA blamed pro-opposition gunmen for the attack, while the opposition said that the Republican Guard, headed by a son of Saleh, was behind the shelling.
Clashes have broken out between the Republican Guard and armed opposition supporters, after Saleh's opponents accused the Yemeni president of stalling for time and not leaving office.
Since an attack on his palace in June, Saleh has been in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for serious burns that he suffered. Meanwhile, Yemen News said Sunday that the opposition parties have informed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Yemen envoy that powers should be transferred to Vice President Abdo Rabo Mansour Hadi before any dialogue.
A leader in the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), Dr Mohammad al-Mutawakel, said: "The meeting with Ban Ki-moon's envoy, Jamal Bin Omar, on Saturday did not discuss anything new, but said the JMP stressed that President Saleh must transfer powers to his vice Hadi before any dialogue between the ruling party and JMP."
Bin Omar arrived Wednesday in Yemen on a mission to help the Yemeni rivals end the long-running political impasse. Yemen has been gripped by turmoil since February, when protests took the streets calling for the ouster of Saleh.