Smoke rises from the main gate of the army's first armoured division near the building of the University of Science and Technology, which is under attack from Shi'ite Houthi militants, in Sanaa September 21, 2014. Shi'ite Houthi rebels and government forces fought for a fourth straight day in the Yemeni capital, residents said, despite the announcement of a U.N.-brokered agreement due to be signed later on Sunday. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi (YEMEN - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) Image Credit: REUTERS

Sana’a: Al Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni government headquarters yesterday and the premier resigned as violence raged despite a UN announcement of a power-sharing deal to end days of fighting, officials said. Prime Minister Mohammad Basindwa stepped aside, accusing President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi of being “autocratic”, senior officials said. The official Saba news agency announced Basindwa’s departure, but without saying why. Mohammad Abdul Salam, an Al Houthi spokesman, confirmed

on his Facebook page that the seat of government had been taken.

Earlier, shelling and gunfire in the north of Sana’a was heard across the city, as militiamen and troops battled the rebels, prompting an exodus of terrified residents, an AFP correspondent reported. A week of fighting has left dozens of people dead on both sides and forced the suspension of all flights into and out of Sana’a airport, which is in the battle zone.

There was no let-up in the fighting on Saturday night despite Hadi ordering an afterdark curfew. The clashes centred on the campus of Al Iman University, a bastion of Islamists that the Al Houthi rebels have been trying to capture, witnesses

said. The violence came despite UN envoy Jamal Bin Omar announcing late on Saturday that a deal had been reached after “intense consultations with all the political parties.”

The whereabouts of Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar, the major general of the Yemeni army, became unclear after Al Houthis stormed the headquarters of the Fourth Brigade. According to Sky News Arabiya, he fled to the presidential palace. Gulf News confirmed Al Ahmar was the presidential palace.