At least 40 people were killed during renewed violence against pro-democracy protesters in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Witnesses said government forces targeted groups of renegade troops as they attempted to protect civilians who had joined a continuous sit-in around an area of the city dubbed “Change Square”.
Several protesters got caught up in the crossfire.
The death toll included 17 demonstrators and soldiers who were killed during a midnight raid on the site where, since February, thousands of protesters had set up camp.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has clung to power despite nearly months of protests and an assassination attempt. He returned home from hospital in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Yemen’s Interior Minister denied any raid took place, blaming the gunfire on “extremists”.