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More killed in fresh Yemen violence

At least 15 people have been killed in renewed violence in Sanaa as forces loyal to the Yemeni regime and its opponents shelled each other's strategic positions from hills surrounding the capital, medical and security officials said.

The shelling over the city has terrified residents and emptied city streets, already pockmarked by street battles between rival forces in different corners of the capital.

A number of shops in a main boulevard in Sanaa were torched from earlier mortar shelling and oil spots covered the streets after electricity transformers also took a hit.

Smoke billowed from the opposite edges of the city, as two military officials said rival forces were caught in an exchange of artillery and mortar shelling from northern and southern hills at the edge of Sanaa. It was not clear what was hit by the shelling.

Officials said six people were killed in central Sanaa when government forces shelled thousands gathered for a protest with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

Snipers on rooftops also targeted the protesters at Change Square, the centre of Yemen's seven-month-old uprising, and adjacent streets.

Three bystanders were killed by a mortar shell in Sanaa's northern Hassaba district, the officials said.

The Interior Ministry later said four gunmen were also killed. The rival side said one of its fighters was shot dead and 13 were wounded.

The house of a former defence minister, who has declared his support for the protesters, was also hit by government shells, leaving one of the guards dead, a defecting military official said. The former minister himself was unharmed.

The latest deaths took the number of people killed in Yemen since Sunday to about 100, in the worst bout of bloodshed in months.

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