Yemeni security forces killed 21 people in Sana'a in a crowd of demonstrators on Monday in the worst bloodshed seen since March against a protest movement demanding the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Medics said a further 113 protesters were wounded.A day earlier 26 demonstrators a massive anti-government march were shot dead and more than 200 got wounded .
Violence has flared anew in Yemen in frustration after President Ali Abdullah Saleh dashed hopes raised by the U.S. last week that he was about to relinquish power after 33 years of autocratic rule. Government troops were firing into the air to scatter demonstrators, according to witnesses. But a Reuters reporter saw snipers shooting from rooftops and upper stories of buildings into the throng of demonstrators. Some of the deaths appeared to have been caused by rocket-propelled grenades.
The gunfire at protesters sparked a nearly one-hour firefight between General Ali Mohsen's First Armoured Division troops, which defected to the protest side some months ago, and government forces. Trucks full of Mohsen troops could be seen rushing from Change Square in the direction of the gunfire.
Monday's violence erupted as protesters tried to push further into areas of Sanaa controlled by government forces after extending their camp overnight to a junction known locally as Kentucky Roundabout.
The area had previously marked the dividing line between parts of Sanaa held by loyalist troops and defected forces.
AP said that protesters backed by Ali Mohsen's troops succeeded in running over a base by the Republican Guards without haveing a shot fitred. Initially on Monday, anti-Saleh troops under General Mohsen had blocked the protesters' efforts to advance, in an apparent attempt to defuse the situation, Reuters said. Some Mohsen soldiers wound up among the injured at hospitals. According to AP some hundreds of protesters were also marching on a base of the Special Forces, in the south of the city. They stoppedat a distance nof som 100 meters.of the ase. Both he Republican Guards and the Special Forces are led by the president's son Ahmed. They are thought to be the regime's last line of defense and Monday's events could significantly help the protesters' cause against the regime.
In Taiz, another revolutionary flashpoint, residents reported last night that Ahmed Saleh, the Head of the Republican Guards and the Saleh’s eldest son, ordered the Air Force to strike the city from the air, unleashing a level of destruction unprecedented.
In Aden, the government has cut out the electricity, leaving residents to suffer the 35 degree temperature. There as well, witnesses are reporting scenes of violence as government troops are using live ammunitions against the crowd gathered in solidarity to those fallen on Sana’a.
In Zinjibar in the province of Abyan, militants suspected of links to al Qaeda clashed with the army. Six militants were killed and three soldiers wounded.