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At Least 28 Dead As Fighting Intensifies In Yemen

Black smoke ascends in the vicinity of the Interior Ministry Building in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa
Scores of people have been killed in Yemen as fighting intensifies between government forces and opponents of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Heavy explosions reportedly rocked the capital Sanaa early on May 26. Reports say an opposition television station was destroyed in the fighting.

Yemen's Defense Ministry said 28 people have been killed in an explosion at an arms depot in the capital, Sanaa.

The opposition, however, disputed the government's account and said the latest deaths occurred during heavy shelling of a residential area by troops loyal to Yemen's longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Most of the fighting occurred in northern Sanaa, where fighters loyal to powerful tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar have been attacking and trying to take over government buildings including the Interior Ministry.

More than 100 people have been killed in Yemen since May 23 in fighting between government forces and Saleh's opponents.

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis began protests in February demanding the ouster of the president after 32 years in power.

Saleh has repeatedly refused to sign an agreement mediated by Yemen's Gulf Arab neighbors, under which he would step down in 30 days.

The United States has expressed growing frustration with Saleh, an ally that Washington has relied on to fight Al-Qaeda's branch in the Arabian Peninsula.