Violent protests across Yemen

March 15, 2011 - 0:0

SANAA (Agencies) - Scattered clashes broke out across Yemen on Monday, killing three soldiers in the north, as military forces were deployed to check nationwide protests demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

According to Reuters, seven demonstrators and three soldiers have died in clashes since Saturday, raising the death toll from unrest above 30.
The United States has condemned the bloodshed and backed the right for peaceful protest, but has insisted only dialogue can end the political crisis.
Two soldiers and an officer were killed as clashes broke out in the northern al-Jawf province, which borders oil giant Saudi Arabia, Yemen's state news agency Saba said.
Fighting intensified after protesters stormed a municipal building. Security forces fired on them, wounding 10, but could not stop them seizing the building, a local official said.
In the central Maarib province, where several oil and gas fields of international companies are located, a man stabbed governor Naji Zayedi, critically wounding him as he and police tried to break up a crowd of thousands at a sit-in.
“Members of the opposition stabbed the governor and wounded three others as security tried to stop protesters from inciting chaos,” a local official said.
As tensions in Yemen rose, three journalists and a researcher from Britain and the United States were abruptly deported Monday. An airport official said they had all entered on tourist visas and were not entitled to work there.
Military deployed
Soldiers and armored vehicles tried to cut off an area in the capital Sanaa, where around 20,000 anti-government supporters have been camped out for weeks.
“We're expecting an attack at any minute, but we're not leaving until the regime falls,” said protester Taha Qayed.
Crowds chanted: “Leave, leave you murderer.”
Police fired in the air to try to break up tens of thousands of protesters in Taiz, 200 km (125 miles) south of capital Sanaa. Three were hurt, but protesters continued demonstrating.
Thousands were also protesting in al-Hawta, the regional capital of southern Lahej province, residents said.
“Al-Hawta is in a state of paralysis. The opposition has called for a general strike to protest at the repression of demonstrators,” a resident told Reuters by phone.
He said all the markets were shuttered and that security forces were spread out around the city.
Elsewhere in the south, more than 10,000 people were also protesting in the flashpoint province of Dalea, where police have often clashed with armed secessionist groups, locals said.
The protesters are gaining support from tribal chiefs, senior officials and university professors. About 50 professors from the universities in the cities of Aden, Sanaa and Taiz have resigned from President Saleh's ruling Congress Party.
Amin al-Ukeimi, a leader of the powerful Bakeel tribe, announced Monday that he is joining the protesters in Sanaa, the capital, and supported their demand to bring down the regime. Mohammed al-Houri, an undersecretary at the Planning Ministry, also announced his resignation from the party, AP reported.
The western part of the capital was paralyzed Monday by a strike called by trade unions to protest the government's harsh handling of the demonstrators and to demand higher wages.
Last week, Yemeni president, who promised not to see reelection, pledged to bring a new constitution to a vote by year's end and transfer government power to an elected parliamentary system.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned excessive force by security forces against peaceful demonstrators in Sanaa.
In a statement, Ban urged government and opposition groups to pursue talks to avert further deterioration of the security situation in the country, UPI reported.