By Mohammed Hatem - Mar 31, 2011
Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Yemen, and about 40 were wounded in clashes with security forces and pro-government demonstrators, a protest leader said.
Several demonstrators in the northwestern governorate of Hajja were hit by bullets today and five were in critical condition, Ibrahim al-Shami, a protest organizer, said in a telephone interview.
The opposition has repeatedly said it will not end protests until President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled for 32-years, steps down. Demonstrators have called for rallies tomorrow following Friday prayers. Anti-government protests in Yemen have been taking place for more than two months, inspired by revolts that overthrew the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt. A crackdown in the capital, Sana’a, earlier this month killed as many as 46 protesters.
The U.S. has backed the government’s fight against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said this week that he sees the possible fall of Saleh as a “real problem.” Saleh’s government blamed al-Qaeda for an explosion at a weapons factory in Abyan province on March 28. At least 100 people were killed in the blast, according to an e- mailed statement from the Joint Parties Meeting, the country’s six-party opposition coalition.
Source: The Bloomberg