Yemen rebel alliance crumbles as 'street war' rocks capital
Sanaa: Fresh gun battles forced shops and schools to close in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Sunday as residents warned a three-year rebel alliance was collapsing into a "street war".
The Iran-backed Huthi rebels' partnership with powerful ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh appeared to have fallen apart after he reached out to a Saudi-led coalition fighting the insurgents.
The Huthis' political office on Saturday accused Saleh of staging a "coup" against "an alliance he never believed in".
On Sunday, Saleh loyalists cut off a number of streets in central Sanaa and deployed heavily in anticipation of Huthi attacks, as security sources said clashes had already left some 60 dead across the capital and at its international airport. Saleh loyalists renewed a bid to seize control of Al-Jarraf district, a stronghold of the Iran-backed Huthis, while the Huthis fortified their positions with dozens of vehicles mounted with machine guns, witnesses said.
Sanaa residents said they had barricaded themselves in their homes to avoid snipers and shelling as clashes flared up around key ministries where the two sides had been working together just days before.
The education ministry cancelled classes Sunday, normally the start of the school week, and witnesses said some bodies of those killed in previous clashes were still lying in the streets.