[QODLink]
Middle East
Deadly clashes at protest in Yemen's capital
Government troops in Sanaa open fire on thousands marching to demand President Saleh's resignation.
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2011 13:01
Developments in Libya and the death of Muammar Gaddafi have spurred on Yemen's protest movement [EPA]

Yemeni troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh have opened fire on thousands of protesters calling for his
removal, killing six and wounding dozens more, sources say.

The demonstration was taking place since the early morning hours in the capital, Sanaa, on Tuesday, with protesters marching through the streets surrounding Change Square, the epicentre of the nationwide movement calling for Saleh's resignation.

The protesters were marching towards Sanaa's Al-Qaa district, an area controlled by pro-Saleh troops, when they were fired upon with live ammunition, witnesses told the AFP news agency.

Three of the dead reportedly reached a field hospital run by the revolutionary doctors, while three other bodies were taken to the state-run Al Jumhuri hospital in the capital, sources told Al Jazeera.

"The people want to prosecute the butcher," the Associated Press news agency quoted the protesters as chanting. They were demanding a trial for Saleh.

Some also held up posters saying that after the death of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, it was time for Saleh to "listen to your people".

For more on Yemen, visit our Spotlight page

Amid the shooting, the marchers were forced to retreat from the surrounding streets towards Change Square, AP said.

Saleh's forces in Sanaa have exchanged gunfire with troops from renegade army units lead by Major-General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who defected to the opposition early on in the uprising and whose forces now escort and protect the protesters.

Mohammed al-Qubati, who runs a field hospital at the protesters' camp site, said at least 40 people were wounded by Saleh's forces during Tuesday's shooting.

He said dozens also suffered breathing difficulties because of tear gas fired by the troops and several passed out.

Violence in Sanaa has escalated in the wake of a non-binding UN Security Council resolution urging Saleh to sign a Gulf states-brokered deal that paves the way for his resignation.

Saleh welcomed the resolution on Monday, but has so far refused to sign the agreement, despite increased regional and international pressure to do so.

Meanwhile, in Yemen's second largest city Taiz, seven civilians died and at least 30 others were wounded in shelling and in clashes between armed tribesmen who back the anti-government protesters and pro-Saleh troops, medics and sources told Al Jazeera.

Witnesses there described scenes of fear and chaos as mortar shells fell randomly on city neighbourhoods overnight and early on Tuesday, damaging dozens of houses and forcing schools to shut down.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.