Yemen TV building on fire as mortars hit capital

Sunday, September 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

Mohammed Ghobari
Sep. 20, 2014

SANAA: Yemen’s state-run television building caught fire after a three-day mortar attack by Shiite rebels who are protesting against the government, residents and a TV employee said Saturday.

After weeks of protests and clashes, the conflict intensified on Thursday when the Shiite Houthi rebels clashed with the army on the outskirts of Sanaa.

The fighting expanded mainly between the Houthis and tribesmen allied with the Al-Ahmar clan. Prominent figures from the mainly Sunni clan, one of the most powerful tribes in Yemen, hold senior positions in the armed forces and the government.

Part of the TV building, which is located near other vital state institutions, caught fire after shelling intensified Saturday morning, the employee told Reuters, adding that hundreds were trapped in the building as a result.

Yemeni TV broadcast a written message for national and international organizations to intervene to save its employees from the shelling.

In a neighboring area close to the interior ministry where Houthis have been staging a sit-in, three mortars were fired according to a Reuters witness. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the shelling.

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