GOVERNMENT forces dropped bombs and fired rockets on the besieged southern capital of Aden yesterday, touching off southern airstrikes as United Nations efforts to end the seven-week-old civil war appeared to wither.
No overall damage estimate was available at press time in the battered port, ringed on three sides by government forces. But the strike is certain to intensify the hardships endured by the city residents, whose population has swollen by an estimated 50,000 refugees fleeing the northern advance.
The war erupted anew on May 4, shattering a four-year union between conservative North Yemen and socialist South Yemen. The merger eroded under feuding between President President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a northerner, and his former vice president, southern leader Ali Salim al-Beidh, who proclaimed the south's secession May 20.
Delegations from the north and south held separate meetings in Cairo on Sunday with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, an Algerian diplomat who brokered an end to Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war. He indicated there was little room for optimism: The northern government rejected holding talks with the secessionists. Northern forces control most of the country, which sits on the southwest tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
Aden's water supplies have been seriously damaged, causing severe shortages, according to Arab reports. Food and medicine are also reported to be in short supply. At least 36 people have been killed by shelling in Aden since Thursday. Israelis strike, guerrillas retaliate
A GUERRILLA ambush killed three Israeli soldiers and wounded three others yesterday after Israeli warplanes attacked hilltop strongholds of the Iranian-backed Hizbullah movement, security sources said.
The ambush occurred near the Crusader-built Beaufort Castle in a border enclave that Israeli troops have occupied in southern Lebanon since 1985. The zone is intended to guard against guerrilla raids into northern Israel.
The security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lebanese guerrillas who infiltrated the zone blasted an Israeli patrol with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. The ambush and the preceding airstrikes touched off artillery and rocket duels along the edge of the enclave, pitting Israeli troops and their Lebanese militia allies against Hizbullah fighters. Security sources said two guerrillas were reported wounded in the Israeli airstrikes, which followed a similar attack Sunday.
The airstrikes raised to 22 the number of Israeli raids against Lebanese targets this year, three of them in the last two days. Party supporters clash in Zimbabwe
CLASHES between ruling party and opposition supporters in Chitungwiza township near the capital left at least 26 people injured, police and witnesses said yesterday.
Riot police quelled disturbances that began after the two parties scheduled political rallies at the same venue, a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity, the usual practice in Zimbabwe. He said details of arrests will be released later.
Witnesses said at least 18 people, many of them members of the small opposition Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-Ndonga) party were taken away by police.
The violence came a day after ZANU-Ndonga leader the Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole told supporters to be ready for violent confrontation from political opponents. Enoch Dumbutshena, head of the Forum Party, another opposition party, urged members to defend themselves against violent intimidation by youth-wing members of President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
The Human Rights Association of Zimbabwe has appealed to politicians not to provoke violence during campaigning.