Sana'a, March 24, 2011
At least two people were shot dead and nine injured during clashes between anti-government protesters and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in southern Yemen, Xinhua reported on Thursday. The fighting erupted on Wednesday night after nearly 200 protesters gathered at downtown
Al-Maafir city, some 20 km south of Taiz city, to protest a blackout, Abdul-Qawi al-Ezzani, a witness, said.
"The protesters then headed to the location of the electrical generator and attempted to turn it on, but scores of government backers, including policemen in plain clothes, repelled the protesters and opened fire at them, killing two people and injuring nine," al-Ezzani told Xinhua by phone.
Last week, the protesters took over all government and security facilities of Al-Maafir, but security forces managed to regain control.
Dozens of people have been killed in government crackdowns on the anti-government demonstrations which have shaken Yemen since Feb 11.
Encouraged by the uprising sweeping the region, Yemenis have been demanding an end to Saleh's 32-year rule as well as political and economic reforms.