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Middle East

Yemeni army clashes with rival faction

At least one person killed as soldiers of recently dissolved Republican Guard rally in Sanaa demanding a Ramadan bonus.

Last Modified: 02 Aug 2013 15:50
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At least one person died and six were wounded in clashes between soldiers once loyal to Yemen's ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh and a rival army faction in Sanaa, police and medical sources said.

Hundreds of members of Yemen's now dissolved elite Republican Guard on Friday gathered on a parade ground near the presidential palace in the capital to protest against what they say is neglect by the new leadership.

The Republican Guard was run by Saleh's powerful son until Saleh's successor, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, abolished it last year in a bid to unify the army.

The soldiers were demanding that the ministry of finance pay them a bonus for the holy month of Ramadan and called on the minister to resign.

Shots were fired between them and the Presidential Guard, a force which is loyal to Hadi. According to police and medical sources at least one person died and six were wounded.

The clashes ended when heavily-armed riot police and military police arrived on the scene, a witness said, although the demonstration continued.

Yemen's military remains divided between allies and opponents of Saleh, who stepped down in a Gulf-brokered deal in 2012 after a year of protests against his rule, but still looms large in Yemen.

Demonstrations by soldiers against late salary payments from the cash-strapped government are common in Yemen, and often end in violence.

A third of Yemenis live under the poverty line of $2 a day and unemployment is estimated at about 35 percent, with youth joblessness at 60 percent.

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