Yemen troops fire at protesters

2011-06-03 14:42

kalahari.com

Sanaa - Yemeni troops wounded at least seven people on Friday when they fired on protesters demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade rule in a conflict that has brought the state to the brink of civil war.

In other parts of the capital, tribesmen siding with the protesters have fought pitched street battles with Saleh's troops, including his special forces which were set up to fight al-Qaeda, for control of government buildings.

More than 350 people have been killed since the uprising started in January, but at least 135 of them have died in the past 10 days in a marked escalation that began when fighting broke out between tribal groups and government troops in the capital Sanaa.
Al Jazeera broadcast live footage of a funeral procession through the streets of Sanna of about 50 people in caskets the opposition said were killed in the recent clashes.

Friday prayers have become a rallying point for the opposition, who are planning mass demonstrations in the capital and the major southern city of Taiz. They have also led to deadly clashes with Saleh's forces.

Worries are growing that Yemen, home to a branch of al-Qaeda known as AQAP and next to the world's biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia, could implode and become a failed state that poses a risk to global oil supplies and security.

In Taiz, where the United Nations is investigating reports that at least 50 have been killed since Sunday, police fired warning shots at protesters as they gathered at a mosque for prayers in what could be an ominous sign of looming violence.

Political veteran Saleh has backed away three times at the last minute from signing a Gulf-led deal to step down, clinging to power despite global pressure to resign and the defection of ministers and military leaders to the opposition.

"But even if the president would agree, and so far he has shown no intention, one could not ensure the transition to go smoothly given that there are so many risks involved," said Christian Koch, director of international studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.

Saleh's special forces were deployed to help "clean up" a ministry held by tribal forces, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, as battles near the airport briefly grounded flights.

Tribal allegiances


The outside world has had little leverage on events in Yemen, where tribal allegiances are the most powerful element in a volatile social fabric, analysts said.

Saudi Arabia, which has strong, longstanding ties with Yemeni tribes, is likely to try to apply another round of pressure on Saleh to step aside to avert disaster in a country of 23 million that is awash with guns.

Yemen is engulfed in multiple conflicts, with street battles between tribal groups and Saleh's forces in Sanaa, popular unrest across the country and fighting against AQAP and other Islamist militants who seized the coastal city of Zinjibar.

The United States and Saudi Arabia, both targets of AQAP attacks, fear al Qaeda will exploit the instability to make Yemen a launch pad for more attacks. In 2010 Yemen said it would set up special forces in four of its provinces to fight AQAP.

In Sanaa, pro-Saleh forces have been fighting the powerful Hashed tribal confederation led by Sadeq al-Ahmar, with mortars, machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades for nearly two weeks.

The capital is split, with Saleh loyalists holding the south against tribesmen and renegade military units in the north.

One constant factor is Yemen's crippling poverty. Jobs and food are scarce, corruption is rampant and about 40 percent of the population struggles to live on less than $2 a day.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  ali abdullah saleh  |  yemen  |  uprisings  |  yemen protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose

A device that converts nose breaths into speech will open new doors for people with Parkinson’s or motor neuron disease.

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.