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Yemeni tribesmen kill local security chief and 2 aides in ambush in southern area
SANAA, Yemen (AP) ' Tribesmen killed a Yemeni army officer and two of his aides in an ambush Friday, and government shelling killed two civilians in a volatile southern area, officials said.
The violence in the Taiz area was the latest example of a collapse in security during a more than 5-month-old uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The tribesmen attacked the convoy carrying a colonel near Sharab, 12 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Taiz, Yemen's second-largest city, which has seen some of the biggest anti-government protests. The colonel and two aides were killed, according to security officials.
Yemen's army has been shelling the outskirts of Taiz to try to dislodge the tribesmen. Shells killed two residents and wounded 11 others Friday, medical officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
The disintegrating security across Yemen has allowed armed tribesmen and radical Islamist groups to take over parts of the country's weakly governed provinces. The U.S. worries that Yemen's active al-Qaida branch will exploit the chaos to step up operations.
Despite the violence, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets again in Taiz, the capital Sanaa and several other cities after Muslim prayers to call for Saleh's ouster after 33 years in power. In Sanaa, thousands of pro-government demonstrators also rallied in a show of support for Saleh outside his palace.
Saleh has been receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia since July 5 after being badly injured in an attack on his palace. Pressure from the U.S. and Yemen's Gulf Arab neighbors has so far failed to get him to transfer power.