Rival government factions clash in Yemen's Taiz

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-12 23:38:03|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ADEN, Yemen, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Rival Yemeni armed groups loyal to the Saudi-backed government clashed in the troubled southern province of Taiz on Wednesday, a government official told Xinhua.

The intra-faction fighting erupted between two Islamist groups over the control of key government institutions in downtown Taiz, the province's capital city that bears the same name, the local government source said on condition of anonymity.

The fighting was concentrated in Jamal Street and areas controlled by the Yemeni government forces and continued throughout the day, causing panic among civilians, according to local residents.

They said plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the fighting scene as some masked gunmen torched stores and cars.

About six gunmen were killed from both warring factions and several civilians left injured at the scene, a local medical source said.

Taiz Province under a total blockade has long witnessed indiscriminate shellings by the Shiite Houthis who control most parts of the province.

Yemen has been suffering from a civil war and a Saudi-led military intervention for about two years.

The civil war began after the Houthi militants, with support of forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, ousted the UN-backed transitional government and occupied capital Sanaa in September 2014.

The legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts, while the Houthi/Saleh alliance controls the other parts including the capital Sanaa.

The UN has sponsored peace talks between the warring factions several times, but they failed to reach any common ground.

The civil war has so far killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, injured more than 35,000 others and displaced over two million, according to humanitarian agencies.