The Indianpost

Thousands rally in Yemen after proterster killed

Thousands streamed into a square in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa on Wednesday, trying to bolster anti-government protesters after club-wielding backers of President Ali Abdullah Saleh tried to drive them out.
One person was killed and at least 12 wounded in the clashes late Tuesday near Sanaa University, medics said. A local human rights group gave a higher toll, saying two people were killed and 18 hurt.
Seven legislators who belong to Saleh’s ruling Congress Party resigned from the group because of the situation in the country and said they will form their own independent bloc, member of parliament Abdul-Aziz Jabbari said. The resignations raise to nine the number of legislators who left the party since protests began earlier this month.
In the Red Sea port of Hodeida, Saleh supporters attacked a group of anti-government protesters injuring at least 10, according to activists who were taking part in the demonstration. Security forces in the southern port of Aden used tear gas and fired bullets in the air to disperse hundreds of protesters, officials said.
The U.S.-backed Saleh, in power for 32 years, has said he will step down after national elections are held in 2013. But a widening protest movement, inspired by successful uprising in Egypt and Tunisia, demands that he leave office now. Saleh’s government was already weak before the protests erupted; it faces an al-Qaida branch, a southern separatist movement and disaffected tribesmen around the country.
Also Wednesday, Interior Minister Gen. Mouthar al-Masri met with the U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein and a British envoy, who both expressed concerns about “unjustified violence” against protesters, security officials said. The ministry said in a statement that Gen. al-Masri told the diplomats security forces were neutral and protecting pro- and anti-government gatherings.
In recent days, activists have been digging in, setting up encampments in some areas. In Sanaa, protesters have been camping in a square near Sanaa University. On Tuesday, they came under attack by pro-government forces who witnesses say swung clubs and fired in the air.
But the government forces failed to dislodge the protesters, and thousands more streamed into the square in support Wednesday, including academics, writers, artists and scholars. Thousands of protesters, many of them students, marched through the streets of the port of al-Mukalla in eastern Yemen, chanting, “The people want the downfall of the regime.”
Demonstrators overturned and set fire to a government car and threw stones at the police who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. A 16-year-old was seriously injured when a tear gas canister struck his face, medical officials at a hospital said.
A 19-year-old wounded in Aden last week died of his injuries Wednesday, medics said. His death brought to 13 the number of demonstrators killed since the crisis began nearly a month ago.

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