Saturday, March 12, 2011
Yemeni's reject Salah's offer to reform with their feet
(Updated) -Police in Yemen have attacked anti-government demonstrators in the centre of the capital, Sanaa, killing up to six people and injuring many more. Reports say hundreds of police moved in on Saturday, using tear gas, water cannons and live bullets at a protest camp in Tahrir Square.The clashes came after the US urged opposition groups to take up President Ali Abdullah Saleh's call for talks.
Weeks of protest against his 32-year rule have left about 30 people dead. The protesters have been camping out in Sanaa's Tahrir Square for weeks.Doctors in the camp said police were blocking medical teams from entering the area. One doctor told BBC Arabic that six people were dead and 1,250 injured - 250 of them seriously.
Also on Saturday, at least three students were injured when security forces opened fire at protesters in the city of Taiz, who gathered to demand that Saleh be put on trial.
Also there were protests in the southern port city of Aden, where three people were wounded by gunfire and six overcome by tear gas as police tried to disperse the crowd. Unidentified armed men on Friday killed four soldiers on patrol east of Mukalla city in Hadhramaut province, in southeast Yemen. Security sources accused al-Qaeda operatives of being behind the attack.
On Thursday, Saleh bowed to pressure after a month of violent protests, pledging to devolve power to parliament and to ensure the safety of anti-government protesters. But the opposition rejected the offer saying it came too late.
However, tens of thousands of protesters marched in Yemen on Friday marking what they called the "Friday of no return", drawing record crowds in the capital to show President Ali Abdullah Saleh his reform offers would not soften their demand for his immediate departure.
Despite Saleh's promises to protect the demonstrators, security forces used tear gas and live bullets to disperse thousands of people who marched toward Aden's Khor Maksar neighborhood to demand democratic change. At least 14 people were injured, including two who appeared to have been shot with live bullets, hospital staff said.