Nine people were killed in clashes between gunmen and security forces outside the Interior Ministry in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Tuesday.
Interior Ministry officials said the gunmen had been surrounding the ministry since Monday and attempted to storm it early Tuesday, according to CNN. Most were dressed in security uniforms and demanded to be enrolled in Yemen's police force. The officials said the gunmen had worked unofficially with the Yemeni government during a recent political stalemate and were loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who left power during that time.
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"These gunmen are not on our records of official government employees. They want to forcibly be enrolled or else threatened chaos," a senior Interior Ministry official told CNN.
Many other people were also wounded in the clashes, which had some of the heaviest fighting in Sanaa since Saleh signed a deal that relinquished his power after a 33-year rule, reported Reuters. But a government source said security forces had regained control of the situation, and a Reuters witness saw three armored vehicles and soldiers guarding the ministry's entrance.
According to the Associated Press, the Saleh-loyal gunmen had remained in control of the building hours after they stormed it. They had also been controlling nearby streets.