Yemen's Saleh again rejects move to replace him

April 10, 2011 - 0:0

SANAA (Reuters) – Protests in Yemen descended into violence on Friday in which at least five people were killed and dozens wounded as President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected a Gulf Arab plan to secure an end to his 32 years in power.

Saleh, facing an unprecedented challenge from hundreds of thousands of protesters, initially accepted an offer by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab states, as part of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), to hold talks with the opposition.
On Wednesday, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said the PGCC would strike a deal for Saleh to leave.
But on Friday, Saleh told tens of thousands of supporters in the capital Sanaa “We don't get our legitimacy from Qatar or from anyone else ... we reject this belligerent intervention.”
Frustration with the impasse may push the thousands of Yemenis who have taken to the streets closer to violence.
Five protesters were shot dead on Friday, bringing the death toll from clashes with security forces this week to at least 26.
“I don't think the PGCC or the West want Yemen to go down the road of Libya, because that's exactly where it's going,” said Theodore Karasik, an analyst at the Dubai based INEGMA group.
“The more entrenched Saleh gets, the greater the outside pressure, so this could really illustrate how much influence outside powers actually have over Yemen.”
Clashes broke out in Taiz between hundreds of protesters and security forces who fired gunshots and tear gas. three protesters were shot dead and 150 others wounded by gunfire, doctors said. Some 200 were hurt by tear gas inhalation.
A doctor treating the wounded in Taiz square said 10 of the wounded were in critical condition.
In the port city of Aden, once the capital of an independent south, police fired shots to disperse thousands of protesters. Some 15,000 gathered in the Red Sea port of Hudaida to demand Saleh quit and mourn six killed in protests there on Monday.