Yemen Battles Leave 41 Dead

Violence erupted in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a on Wednesday, leaving at least 41 people dead as a feared full-blown war between tribal fighters and forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh moved closer to becoming a reality.

Exchanges of fire were heard across the capital all day, even as tribesmen belonging to the Hasid confederation strengthened their presence in Sana’a by taking over several buildings in the southern and northwestern parts of the city. According to the Associated Press, the tribesmen are now occupying some government buildings and ministries.

The street battles have forced the United States to turn away from Saleh, who was once considered one of the strongest Washington allies in the Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the only solution to end the conflict and prevent more deaths was for Saleh to end his 33-year reign. “We cannot expect this conflict to end unless President Saleh and his government move out of the way to permit the opposition and civil society to begin a transition to political and economic reform,” Clinton said in a press conference in Washington.