Sunday, September 18, 2011

At least 24 killed in new onslaught in Yemen's capital Sana'a

The house of sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar hit by heavy weapons. 

Troops loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, have opened fire on Sunday on protesters in Sanaa.According to eywitnesses at least 24 people were killed and several hundreds injured. Many of the deaths and inmjuries had been caused by the use of heavy weapons. The 1st armored division of general Ali Mohsen, who walked over to the opposition some months ago, answered the firoing of the government troops. 
The crackdown came after days of heavy tension when thousands of protestors took to the streets, calling for an end to president Saleh's 33-year rule. Earlier on Sunday, government trooops fired mortars into Al-Hasaba district in Sanaa, home to an opposition tribal chief. Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar said his fighters did not return fire after they were shelled by the Republican Guard. Ahmar said he did not want to give Saleh any excuse not to sign a deal to transfer power.

The days before there had been several clashes between government troops and tribal fighters loyal to Sheikh Sadeq, during which also heavy artilery was used, making an unknown number of victims. Saturday night the 4th division of the regular army and security force also launched an attack on one of the entrances of Taghir Square near the university, where traditionally many protesters are gathered. At least eight of them got wounded.   
The rising tension and the new crackdowns on protesters new on protesters came as Abed Rabo Mansur Hadi, Yemen's vice-president, will sign a Gulf Arab initiative to arrange for a transfer of power in Yemen "within a week", a high-level Saudi official told reporters.Last week, Saleh authorised Hadi to negotiate a power transfer with the opposition.The initiative was proposed by the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council and sets the path for a peaceful transition of power from Saleh, who has ruled Yemen since 1978. According to the Saudi official, "among the guarantees demanded by Saleh are that his son be kept in the next government'.

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