Eight dead in clashes at Interior Ministry
Major General Ali Saeed Obaid, spokesman of the Military Committee, said that eight soldiers were shot from both sides and 25 others were wounded.
Obaid confirmed to the Yemen Times that “the Military Committee captured several police soldiers that participated in the clashes and is now investigating the matter.”
He pointed out that a committee, comprised of Major General Ali Nasser Lakhsha’a, vice-Minister of the Interior, General Fadhl Al-Qawsi, Commander of the Security Central Forces (SCF), Brigadier Rizq Al-Jawfi, Sana’a Security Chief and Major General Saeed Ali Obaid, was formed to investigate the matter, in accordance with President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s orders.
He added that the committee met on Tuesday night and on Wednesday afternoon; details would be provided after the meeting.
Fadhl Abubaker, a soldier in the ministry, said that the police opened fire at around six o’clock on Tuesday morning. The soldiers were forced to retaliate.
He indicated that several soldiers of the ministry, among them Muaad Al-Mesbahi, an officer in the Interior Minister’s office, were shot and others wounded during the clashes.
For his part, Mohammed Al-Harazi, a resident, said that machine guns and grenades were used in the clashes. He added that the clashes intensified at nine o’clock in the morning and calmed down at ten.
The Ministry of Interior’s building was looted by civilians after 12 o’clock when the clashes ended.
Nasser Al-Harbi, a resident, said that the police soldiers and the SCF soldiers who controlled the building allowed residents to enter it and loot whatever they wanted. Residents were seen emerging from the ministry carrying furniture.
The government and the Supreme Security Committee condemned the clashes. They asserted that what happened was the result of a group of soldiers advocating storming the ministry in order to create disorder in the country.
The ministry reported that the police soldiers have no demands; they stormed the ministry to advance their interests.
The government denounced the storming and said that it aimed to create chaos, hinder political development in Yemen and obstruct the implementation of the Gulf Initiative.
Hameed Al-Ahmar, a leader in the Islah Party, said that the clashes occurred because the state did not pay attention to the demands of the revolutionary youth to dismiss former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s relatives from state departments.
“It is unacceptable that Saleh’s relatives are still controlling the presidential palace, the airport, military camps in Sana’a and other state departments after five months of the transitional period,” said Al-Ahmar in a press release on Tuesday.
In return, the General People’s Congress (GPC) asserted in a statement that Saleh has no relation with the clashes that took place within the Ministry of Interior.
The statement read “the GPC isn’t an ideological party that arranges clandestine groups among military and security forces because it is against the law and the institution.”
Moreover, the GPC hoped that the problem would be solved according to the law in order to avoid bloodshed.