Fighting rages in Yemen capital despite UN talk of deal

September 21, 2014 8:15 am
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A Yemeni Shiite Huthi anti-government rebel gestures as he stands guard on a street near the entrance to the airport during clashes between government forces and Shiite Huthi protesters in Sanaa on September 20, 2014/AFP
A Yemeni Shiite Huthi anti-government rebel gestures as he stands guard on a street near the entrance to the airport during clashes between government forces and Shiite Huthi protesters in Sanaa on September 20, 2014/AFP

, SANAA, September 21- Fighting raged in the Yemeni capital on Sunday despite an announcement by the UN envoy that pro government forces and Shiite rebels were poised to sign a deal.

The shelling and gunfire in the north of Sanaa was heard across the capital, an AFP correspondent reported.

There was no let up in the fighting during the night despite an after dark curfew ordered by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.

The fighting centred on the campus of Al Iman University, a bastion of Sunni hardliners that the Shiite rebels have been trying to capture, witnesses said.

It came despite the announcement by UN envoy Jamal Benomar late on Saturday that an accord had been reached to end the week long fighting in the capital that has killed dozens of people and halted flights.

Benomar did not specifically mention a ceasefire but said that after “intense consultations with all the political parties, including (rebel movement) Ansarullah,” a deal was ready to be signed.

Forces allied to the government have been battling to halt the rebels, who swept into Sanaa from their mountain stronghold in the far north last month and set up protest camps to press their demands.

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