Opposition figures in Yemen say fighting between government security forces and demonstrators calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh has killed six people, as Mr. Saleh called for “peaceful dialogue” to end the nation’s political stalemate.
Witnesses said one protester was killed and eight others wounded during a clash Monday in the capital, Sana’a.
Pro-opposition tribesman said a family of five was also killed during shelling by government forces north of the city.
Mr. Saleh’s comments came in an editorial published Monday in several state newspapers, as he marked the 33rd anniversary of his rise to power. He again called for political dialogue, but was unspecific as he has been in the past.
Mr. Saleh is recovering in Saudi Arabia from wounds and burns suffered last month in a bomb attack on his palace compound.
He has refused to leave office despite international pressures and months of opposition rallies demanding his resignation.
Opposition groups have rejected the overtures after Mr. Saleh failed to meet the conditions of transitional plans offered by Gulf countries and backed by Western powers.
Mr. Saleh did not mention when or whether he will return to Yemen. The government has been led in his absence by his deputy, Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
His comments come as Yemeni forces backed by hundreds of armed tribesmen continued their offensive to retake the southern town of Zinjibar, after months of fighting with Islamist fighters.