Yemeni Troops Open Fire During Protests, 40 Wounded

Yemeni Troops Open Fire During Protests, 40 Wounded
# 15 March 2011 22:21 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Yemeni security forces have used gunfire to disperse anti-government demonstrations in several parts of the country, triggering street battles with protesters, APA reports quoting “The Voice of America”.

More than 40 people have been wounded.

In one incident, Yemeni protesters tried to storm a local government building in the northeastern province of Jawf on Monday, prompting security forces to open fire. At least 20 people were injured in the fighting.

Elsewhere, Yemeni security forces opened fire at a large opposition rally outside a provincial government building in central Yemen’s Marib province. At least 20 people were wounded, including Marib’s governor, who was stabbed by an unknown assailant. He was flown to the capital, Sana’a, for treatment.

Police also opened fire to disperse protesters in southern Yemen’s Taiz province, injuring three people.

Opposition activists angered by corruption, poverty and a lack of political freedoms have been holding weeks of protests in the capital, Sana’a and other regions to demand an immediate end to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32 year rule.

Mr. Saleh fired his Endowments and Guidance Minister Hamoud al-Hattar on Sunday, in apparent frustration at al-Hattar’s failure to launch a government dialogue with the opposition. Al-Hattar was replaced with another minister, Hamoud Mohammad Abad.

At least 30 people have been killed in protest-related violence since anti-Saleh activists began rallying across the country earlier this year, inspired by Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings fueled by similar grievances.

Yemeni authorities also deported two Americans and two Britons Monday, on suspicion of working in the country as journalists in violation of their entry visas. The identities of the four Westerners were not immediately released.