At least 18 people were reported killed today, including a large number of civilians, and 40 others were wounded in clashes in western Yemen. The fighting is said to have centered around Taiz and the capital of Sanaa.
The fighting in Taiz came when troops attacked protesters, killing eight civilian protesters before opposition forces arrived at the scene. The Interior Ministry claimed the opposition forces killed at least five soldiers.
The violence in Taiz seems to be escalating at a surprising rate, with the Yemeni forces shelling civilian neighborhoods and prompting local tribes to band together, as they already have in Sanaa, fighting the regime.
Taiz Governor Hamoud al-Sofi said the protest movement already amounted to a “war” and that the opposition would try to turn Taiz “into a Benghazi” to put pressure on President Saleh to step down. Since protesters are equally active in Sanaa it might not be the best analogy, but rather points to a regime that has lost more and more support in every major city.