Dozens of Yemenis were killed in battles overnight between Wednesday and Thursday in the capital of Sanaa as fighting aimed at ending the Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 30-year-rule intensified.
At least 28 people were killed in an explosion at an arms storage area, according to a government official.
Hundreds are fleeing the area hoping to escape the deadly violence.
The chief of Yemen’s Hashed tribe, Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, has called on Arab and global powers to force Saleh out before the country is plunged into civil war.
Joining the protesters in calling for the president to leave power, he said: “The people are on our side and Allah is with us and before the people. They are with us because he has been unjust for the last 30 years. And he is considered to be the biggest liar of all the liars in the world.”
The most recent clashes were in a part of northern Sanaa where fighters loyal to al-Ahmar have been trying to take over government buildings.
Despite mounting international pressure Saleh has refused to stand down.