Friday Jun 03, 201101:28 AM GMT
Fire engulfs Yemeni airline building
Fri Jun 3, 2011 1:30AM
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The Yemenia Airway building on fire
A huge fire has blazed in the headquarters of the Yemeni Airline as tribesmen and government forces continue clashes in the capital Sana'a.

The building, located in the Hassaba district in downtown Sana'a, lies in front of the house of Yemeni opposition tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar, who leads the week-long pitched street battles.

“A huge explosion set the building of Yemeni National Airway Yemenia on a very huge fire," Xinhua reported late Thursday.

The battles near the airport on Thursday briefly grounded flights.

According to state television, the government forces have pinned the blame on tribesmen for setting the building on fire.

But the tribesmen said that the fire started after government troops targeted the nearby home of the tribal leader.

Heavy fighting continued late into the night, as Abdelqawi al-Qeysi, a spokesman for the Hashed tribal federation, said the Yemeni forces are using weapons against civilians that the US gave them to fight terrorism.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has reneged on a deal brokered by the Persian Gulf Arab states to secure a peaceful end to his nearly 33 years of authoritarian rule.

Meanwhile, people flee the Yemeni capital as fighting between opposition tribesmen and govenrment forces rages on there.

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