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Anti-government protesters killed in Yemen

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Anti-government protesters killed in Yemen

2011-03-13 00:08:22 GMT+7 (ICT)

SANAA (BNO NEWS) -- Three protesters were killed and hundreds were wounded early Saturday morning when Yemeni security forces stormed a sit-in site outside Sana'a University where thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been camped out for the past month to demand the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

After the dawn prayers tens of central security forces headed to the university and used live bullets and tear gas to storm the camp, few days after one protester was killed and more than one hundred were injured, the Yemen Post reported.

According to Xinhua news agency, doctor Tarik Noman and a Xinhua reporter at the scene confirmed that three protesters were killed and more than 300 others were injured. However, spokesman of Yemen's ruling party Yaser al-Yamany denied that the three protesters were killed by police gunshot, telling Xinhua that the police were trying to protect the sit-in after a number of armed protesters clashed with some house owners near the sit-in.

Ambulances rushed to the area amid the intensified crackdown on the protesters, who have vowed not to abandon their place until Saleh and his government are out. Also pro-regime bullies joined the security forces attacking the protesters, according to the Yemen Post. 

There were also walls built by the pro-Saleh people and police closing the streets in a move which aims to prevent the protesters from occupying more space as they have started to take their tents to more streets. According to Xinhua, electricity was cut off after police put the sit-in under a tightened siege.

Meanwhile, a 20-year-old protester was shot dead when police were trying to break up a rally of tens of thousands protesters in Taiz's main Liberation Square. In Mukalla, the provincial capital of southeast province of Hadramout, eyewitnesses said police opened fire on thousands of anti-government protesters, killing a 12-year-old schoolboy and injuring several others. However, a provincial police official told Xinhua that the boy was shot dead by protesters.

On Thursday, Saleh offered a reform initiative to the opposition which says to transfer power to an elected parliamentary system by the end of the year, but it was swiftly rejected by the opposition.

Following Saleh's announcement, thousands of people took the streets and protested in Sanaa, Taiz, and Ibb, demanding Saleh, who has ruled the country for 32 years, to step down. Opposition leaders say the announcement comes to late, and they will continue to demand the end of the regime.

Yemeni protesters, mostly young, are fighting against soaring unemployment rates, poverty, widespread corruption and patronage. The demonstrations were initially inspired by the Tunisian revolt, but they gathered momentum with the success of Egypt's revolution. Protests, which began in January, have resulted in the death of almost 30 people.


-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-03-13

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