Yemen's government says it has killed at least 40 people over the past two days, claiming they were linked to al-Qaeda.
The state news agency says government forces responded after fighters tried to take over a military camp in Abyan province. Anti-government protests have been taking place across the country for months.
Several soldiers from Yemen's elite Republican Guard, meant to be the most loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, say they have defected to the opposition. The Republican Guard is headed by Saleh's son, Ahmed, who had widely been seen as the successor to his father.
The president is currently in Saudi Arabia for treatment for injuries sustained after an assassination attempt in June. While such incidences continue with members of the police and armed forces also joining the protests, Yemen's future however plunges deeper into uncertainty.
Al Jazeera's Bhanu Bhatnagar reports.