Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yemeni troops kill Taiz protesters

June 17, 2011

Several Yemeni protesters have been killed and injured in clashes with the government forces that attacked anti-regime demonstrators in the southern city of Taizz.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the violence but hundreds of anti-government protesters took to the streets in Taizz to demand the formation of a transitional council.

Opposition protesters also called for the prosecution of President Ali Abdullah Saleh -- who is now in a Saudi hospital recovering from what reports said were burns to over 40 percent of his body -- and his regime officials over the killing of hundreds of anti-government protesters since anti-government rallies began in the country in late January.

Yemenis have dubbed this Friday as the "Day of Revolution's Legitimacy" and have called for mass rallies across the country after the Friday Prayers.

Meanwhile, a top Saudi official told AFP on Friday that the Yemeni president would not return to his country, contrary to the Yemeni government's claims that Saleh would be returning within days.

"The Yemeni president will not return to Yemen," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, without specifying whether the decision was taken by Saleh himself.

The Saudi official also said that "it has not been decided where he will stay.”

Saleh and five other high ranking Yemeni officials were flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment following a rocket attack on Yemeni presidential palace on June 3.

Saleh has not been seen in public since the attack.

Yemeni Vice President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi, who is the acting president in charge of the caretaker government during President Saleh's absence, has so far resisted intensive local and international pressure to heed the demands of protesters to set up an interim ruling council, which would prevent Saleh from returning to power.

On Wednesday, representatives of Yemen's youth protests met Hadi and gave him a two-week notice to clear his stance on the formation of a transitional council and the ouster of Saleh.

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