November 02, 2011
By Mohammed Hatem
Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Clashes in the Yemeni city of Taiz left seven people dead, as hundreds of thousands gathered in the capital, Sana’a, to urge the International Criminal Court to try President Ali Abdullah Saleh and members of his government.
The fighting between armed protesters and members of the Republian Guard in Taiz injured 21 people, activist Ahmed al- Wafi said today by phone from the southern city. Government forces shelled several areas with mortars and tanks, including a protest camp dubbed “Freedom Square,” he said.
The crowds in Sana’a demanded the release of activists who have been arrested or have gone missing since protests began in January. Hundreds of people have been detained in government crackdowns on protests this year, Abdulreman Barman, coordinator of the National Organization for Defending of Rights and Freedoms, said in an interview today.
Demonstrations began in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, at the end of January, inspired by revolts that ousted the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. They deepened as military and tribal leaders joined the opposition. Efforts by the Gulf Cooperation Council to broker a power-transfer agreement have failed.
Saleh returned to Yemen on Sept. 23 after three months in Saudi Arabia, where he received medical treatment following a rocket attack in the capital.