Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another Deadly Weekend in Yemen

Witnesses: Security Forces Fire on Yemen Protesters, Killing 4

By Mohammed Jamjoom
October 16, 2011

(CNN) -- Yemeni security forces opened fired on demonstrators gathering for a planned march in Sanaa on Sunday, killing four people and injuring 37 others, according to a medic on the scene.

The reported violence comes a day after at least 10 people were killed and 38 others wounded in clashes in the capital, said Mohammed Al-Qubati, who works at a field hospital in Change Square, the center of the protests.

Molhim Saeed, another medic in Change Square, called Saturday "a sad day for the revolution."

"The marches were peaceful and the youth were unarmed. They refused to even fight back when they were being shot at," Saeed said.
'Sad day' as Yemen protests turn deadly

There was no immediate comment from the government. Demonstrators have taken to the streets regularly to call for an end to the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Last week, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Sanaa, marching, chanting and calling for the United Nations to come out with a firm resolution in support for change in the country.

For its part, the government says it is trying to come up with a solution to end the political stalemate.

"The ruling party is serious on finding a solution to the political crisis from its roots to ensure they don't erupt in the future," said Tareq Shami, spokesman for the ruling party, the General People's Congress.

Saleh is also facing armed revolt from members of powerful tribes in his country.

Eyewitnesses and residents reported heavy clashes Saturday in Sanaa between Yemeni security forces and fighters from the Hashid tribe, led by Sadiq Al-Ahmar.

Abdulqawi Al-Qaisi, a spokesman for the Al-Ahmar family, said six people were killed when government forces attacked attacked homes of Al-Ahmar tribesmen.

Al-Ahmar called on Saleh to step down after the shooting of dozens of protesters in March.

A top State Department official also urged the leader to resign.

"We are deeply concerned by recent violence in Yemen. We extend our deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones as result of this violence. We are monitoring the situation and continue to seek more information on the actions that led to this tragedy," said Aaron Snipe, a spokesman for the State Department's bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

He called on Saleh to "initiate a full transfer of power without delay" to allow the Yemeni people to attain a stable democracy.

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