Sanaa: Twenty three tribesmen were killed in clashes with troops loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Arhab, northeast of the capital, a tribal source said on Tuesday.

"Twenty three of our fighters were killed in fierce overnight clashes with the Republican Guard," said the source, adding that the worst fighting was concentrated in the area of Sheheb Arhab.

The trouble began last week after the elite Republican Guard, which is led by Saleh's son, Ahmed, installed a checkpoint that allegedly harassed residents of the area that is considered the northeastern gate to Sanaa.

The source said troops chased tribesmen to their villages after few skirmishes.

The Republican Guard has been involved in fighting with tribes in various regions of Yemen since several of the heavily armed tribes sided with protesters demanding the ouster of Saleh since January.

The veteran leader has been under treatment in Saudi Arabia since early June, after he was wounded in a bomb attack on his Sanaa compound.

(Agencies)