SANA’A, Jan. 8 _ Three pedestrians were injured in gunfire exchange on Sunday afternoon in Hayel Street. One of the injured received a bullet in the chest and is reported to be in a critical condition.
The gunfire exchange happened at a checkpoint of the First Armored Division and armed men in a pickup car who refused to stop for security check. Although it only lasted for only half an hour between 12:30 and one p.m., locals say there had been enforced military presence in the conflict zone since Sunday morning.
The street where the incident took place is located on one of Sana’a city’s notorious conflict zones between the Republican Guards and the defected First Armored Division.
“I heard the gunfire which lasted briefly although it injured three people who were passing by during that time,” Abdulsattar Baggash a journalist living in that area told the Yemen Times.
Only Kalashnikovs were reported to be use during the fire exchange despite the presence of heavy artillery on both sides of the conflict including tanks, machineguns and armored vehicles.
This incident creates a problem for the joint military committee that was formed on Dec. 4, 2011 to remove all military signs from the city. The committee had set a one week deadline for itself to achieve this task starting from Dec. 17, 2011, however, it failed to achieve this and has only been able to make slow progress in its mission.
This kind of armed confrontation between two entities of national army is caused by the political division among the army units’ commanders especially since the Republican Guards is managed by the outgoing president Saleh’s son while the First Armored Division is run by Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmar who defected in March and joined the uprising against the president.