Up to seven people have died in clashes in Yemen, including five in the capital Sanaa, where troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh fought a battle with those supporting Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, who defected to the opposition.
Agence France-Press reported that four policemen and one soldier were killed in Sanaa, where tension remained high near the encampment of Mohsen, whose forces are protecting thousands of anti-government protesters in their tent camp near Sanaa University.
A source close to Mohsen's forces told Reuters that government troops had fired rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles into the protest zone after rebels set up a checkpoint.
Mohsen's forces returned fire and battled the pro-government forces for an hour before Saleh's forces retreated, the source reportedly said.
In the southern city of Aden, security forces shot dead two anti-government protesters and wounded four more, Reuters reported. Protesters had been attempting to erect roadblocks as part of a general strike they vow to maintain until the resignation of Saleh.
And at least 17 protesters were injured in clashes with police forces and government backers in Yemen's southern province of Ibb, Xinhua reported. Thousands of protesters also took to the streets in Al-Bayda province, the first civil disobedience seen in the provincial city, according to local authorities. Protesters also turned out in the southern provinces of Dhamar, Taiz, Hadramout.
Clashes between Yemeni security forces and opposition activists have killed more than 100 people since the protests began two months ago, according to VOA.
Foreign ministers from the Gulf states have said they would invite Saleh and his opponents to mediation talks on a transfer of power after two months of street protests the Jerusalem Post reported.
The Yemeni opposition initially rejected the Gulf Cooperation Council's plan, but met with ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman on Tuesday to seek clarification on the term "transfer of power."
Opposition sources said they were expecting an answer from the Gulf on Wednesday on the timeframe and details of the plan, and could respond immediately. An opposition source has said talks could start as early as Saturday in Riyadh.
Anti-government protests continued across Yemen this week, despite the official acceptance by Saleh of the GCC proposal.
A statement from Saleh’s office indicated that he had agreed to a "peaceful" and "constitutional" transfer of power to his vice-president Abdrabuh Hadi Mansur.
The GCC did not specify a time frame for the power transfer, however, and the statement from Saleh appeared to indicate that he only agreed to transfer power after the next elections in 2013, an offer repeatedly rejected by his opposition.