At Least 2 Dead in Escalating Yemen Clashes

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At least two people were killed and at least five others were wounded Wednesday in Yemen as massive rallies continued demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Yemen’s main industrial city, Taiz, was under siege for a third day from huge gatherings in the streets and security forces trying to contain them.

Pro-government snipers reportedly shot two demonstrators dead in Taiz. Foreign media reported protesters wounded from gunfire, tear gas, and beatings by Yemeni security forces.

Anti-government demonstrators also gathered in the capital, Sana’a, chanting slogans against president Saleh. Protests were also reported in the city of Ibb.

The French news agency reported that at least seven people have been killed since Sunday in escalating anti-government violence.

Meanwhile,  representatives of six Gulf nations urged Yemen’s government and opposition leaders to sign an agreement that calls for President Saleh’s resignation.

The Gulf Cooperation Council made the call in a joint statement Tuesday as it wrapped up a summit in Saudi Arabia.

In the statement, council members said the agreement they brokered represented Yemen’s “best way” out of its current political crisis and would “spare the country further political division and deterioration of security.”

The plan calls for Saleh to hand over power to a deputy and step down within 30 days. It also calls for the establishment of a unity government that includes the opposition.

However, Saleh has refused to sign the agreement in his capacity as president.  He says he will only sign it as leader of the ruling General People’s Congress party.  He told supporters on Friday that he will resist calls for his resignation until a solution comes forward that meets constitutional standards.

 

Categories: MIDDLE EAST

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