Yemeni tribes opposed to the rule of President
Ali Abdullah Saleh, vowed Saturday to protect anti-government protesters, dpa reported.
"Any aggression on the supporters of the revolution will be an aggression on Yemen's tribes," they said in a statement at a ceremony in Sana'a to launch an anti-Saleh alliance.
"Saleh will not be allowed to rule again. Neither he nor his sons will rule as long as we are alive," Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the Hashid tribe, told the gathering.
Weeks of fighting between government security forces and al-Ahmar's loyalists broke out in Sana'a in May, after Saleh refused to sign a power transfer deal. Saleh has been staying in Saudi Arabia receiving medical treatment after being injured in an attack on the presidential palace in early June.
Since February, millions of Yemenis have taken part in protests demanding Saleh's ouster.
Meanwhile, six army personnel and seven insurgents suspected of having links with al-Qaeda were killed in overnight clashes in southern Yemen, reported the broadcaster Al-Jazeera.
It quoted tribal sources as saying that the clashes took place near Zinjibar, the capital of the southern province of Abyan, when insurgents attacked army units.