Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More deaths in Yemeni protests as crackdown intensifies

Upfront News/BNO News | Oct 18, 2011

SANAA (BNO NEWS) — Yemeni security forces on Tuesday killed at least 11 more people as anti-government protests continue to fill the streets of the country’s capital, according to a hospital official.

Government forces allegedly gunned down protesters as they marched through downtown Sanaa, leaving at least 11 people dead. Hundreds of security forces attempted to restrict the protesters’ movements and tear-gas canisters could be seen flying toward the crowd, hospital director Mohammed Qubati said, as reported by CNN.

The violence comes after at least 20 people were killed in the past days. On Monday, thousands of women demonstrated in front of Yemen’s Foreign Ministry in Sanaa, demanding U.N. intervention in the ongoing unrest in the Persian Gulf nation.

Protesters have been calling on the United Nations to pressure President Saleh, who sharply criticized United Nations Security Council members, to step down. The UN Security Council is currently working on a draft resolution that is expected to call for Saleh to leave power.

Violence in Yemen has continued to escalate after President Saleh threatened with civil war after refusing, for a third time, to sign the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative for power transition on May 22. The uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh has claimed at least 1,500 lives since February.

Tensions have further escalated since Saleh returned to Yemen after spending more than three months in Saudi Arabia to recover from injuries he sustained in a rocket attack which hit the mosque of the presidential palace in Sanaa on June 3. Saleh has said he is planning to leave power ‘in the coming days’, although a ruling party official immediately said that Saleh has no intention to leave.

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