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Fighting follows Yemen transition deal collapse

Fighting follows Yemen transition deal collapse
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Security forces in Yemen have fought a gunbattle with supporters of an opposition tribal leader, following the collapse of a deal which would have seen President Ali Abdullah Saleh leave power.

The outbreak of violence comes amid heightened security in the capital.

Anti-government protesters again took to the streets on Monday. They called on the president to go and dismissed his warning that the deal brokered by other Gulf nations would push Yemen towards civil war.

Although on Sunday five members of the ruling party put their names to the document, Saleh refused to sign at the last minute. It would have given him immunity from prosecution on condition that he quit within a month.

The president blamed the opposition for the deal’s collapse, warning that a security vaccuum would bring civil war.

Critics accuse him of playing on Western fears of anarchy in the region, and of having no intention of leaving power.