Chaos continues in Taiz

Shatha AL-Harazi


Sana’a, July 3 — Clashes in Al-Steen street in Taiz broke out between Republican Guard soldiers and armed groups Saturday night, leaving five soldiers dead and injuring 20 others.

Locals said around 12 AM “tribes” launched a projectile at the republican guards. The tribes facing the republican guards confirmed that they had nothing to do with the explosion and it was clashes among the ranks of the soldieres.

“It was gunfire from the Republican Guards themselves,” said Shiekh Hamod Al-Mekhlafi head of Mikhlaf’s tribes that left dozens dead.

Saturday’s clash is not the first since 29 May when security and republican guards tried to raze the sit-in site in Taiz. Almost every day there is gunfire, according to activist Naeem Al-Abeedi.

“At night the regime’s thugs mean to shoot in the air to make the residents feel unsafe all the time” said Al-Abeedi.

In Freedom Square where the anti-protests sparked in Yemen, protesters are fewer there now after the attack on 29 May. They fear for their lives and protesters inside the camp carry on their day to day activities in somber silence.

“The city is sleeping,” said Al-Abeedi. Al-Freedom square has been gradually attacked by larger numbers of republican guard soldiers who are located in Al-Thawra hospital which is close to the square.

“For the past ten days, the republican guards send security forces in civilian clothes to the square. Those plainclothes soldiers shot at the guards in the hospital then the guards attack, this is their plan,” said Al-Mikhlafi.

Al-Mikhlafi confirmed to the Yemen Times that his men are protecting the square from all sides and that the city is no longer under the state’s control, accusing the securityforces in the city of “destroying the city instead of protecting it”.

Moreover, Emad Al-Sakkaf, independent journalist told the Yemen Times that Al-Mikhlafi’s tribes are controlling Osifra so they attack the oil trucks and empty it for themselves what cause the oil shortage in Taiz and deprave the locals from it. They also force people to pay for protection

“They make people pay 5000 YR to protect them, what’s the point of replacing a gang [Saleh’s regime] by another” said Emad angrily.

Al-Mikhlafi said these accusations aren’t true and those who do it don’t belong to him.

According to Al-Sakkaf, two armed men went in a car to the president house in al-Kamb neighborhood at 9 pm and shot the guards they managed to escape but the car was found.

“The situation here [in Taiz] became all about violence, it’s a total chaos, every day since 2 AM the citizens live in panic” said Al-Sakkaf.

Al-Abeedi said that each social leader [who is known of their membership of the ruling party] distributed 20 pieces of weapon and shot randomly; she also said that no popular committee was established in Taiz.

“We hear gunfire all the night and never know who is shooting who” said Al-Abeedi.

Al-Abeedi said that an environmental problem will be added soon to all the previous problems, as the state “intent” to not keep the city dirty

“The garbage is on the streets every way, they only clean the neighborhoods where the regime’s officials live” she said.

According to Al-Abeedi said that only one fuel station in Al-Hoban has fuel “they sell it whenever they diced to and stop also whenever they want to” she added.

The Yemen Times tried to contact the security in Taiz to reply on these accusations but they don’t pick up their phones.