Renewed fighting in Yemen’s capital between a powerful tribal group and President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces has killed at least 40 people.
Several explosions were heard and a badly destroyed interior ministry was proof of the continued violence.
A week of bloody clashes in several towns gives credence to the fears that the country is on the brink of civil war.
The West is urging the increasingly isolated President Saleh to step down and end his three-decade rule.
Concern that the unrest could be exploited by al Qaeda has provoked Washington into sending its top counter-terrorism adviser to discuss the deteriorating situation with Yemen’s Arab neighbours.