Taiz: further deaths in regime-opposition conflict
The opposition initiated attacks on government and military locations around Gurra Mountain, where the state army has a military camp. Seven soldiers were killed in the conflict and seven more injured before the opposition was successful in taking over the mountain.
“The defenders of the revolution were able to gain control of Gurra Mountain and seize a number of the regime’s military vehicles and equipment,” said a media spokesperson from Freedom Square in Taiz. “We combed the Zaid Al-Moshiki residential compound and removed all elements of state security.”
He added that the armed opposition was able to confiscate two tanks that were stationed at the Health Institution and Al-Thawra Hospital.
Civilian causalities were caused mostly by the Republican Guard, who launched their attacks randomly against several locations in the city, including residential areas where armed opposition members are thought to be hiding.
Meanwhile, a security official at the Republican Guard installation in Taiz said: “The militias of the Muslim Brotherhood attacked the residential areas the same way they attacked health institutions, using all types of light and heavy weaponry.”
According to eyewitnesses, the regime’s retaliation caused extreme damage in residential areas. Dr. Akram Abdulqader, from the field hospital in Taiz, said that the eight people reported dead are only the ones whose bodies had been accounted for. “There may be others under the rubble of destroyed houses; many of the injured people are in critical condition and we could lose them any minute,” he said.
The battles for control of Gurra Mountain in the west of Taiz have been ongoing for the past two months, in large part over because of its strategic location overlooking the city. The mountain includes a historical monument called Al-Qahera [Cairo] Fort that was renovated by UNESCO two years ago. Currently this historical monument is being used as an active military post – as it was centuries ago – and parts of it have already been damaged in the present conflict.
Most residents on or near the mountain have abandoned their homes, while others continue to remain at risk as they have nowhere else to go.