Anti-government protesters killed in clashes across Yemen

19 February 2011

Protesters were killed in clashes with the police and supporters of President Saleh as demonstrations calling for his removal enter an eighth day

At least five anti-government protesters were killed in Yemen on 18 February in clashes with the police and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Four people were shot by the police in the southern port city of Aden. While one person was killed and many others injured in Taiz when a grenade was thrown from a car at protesters.

In Sanaa, anti-government protesters clashed with supporters of President Saleh.

During what was described as a nationwide “Friday of rage”, tens of thousands of protesters in several cities demanded that Saleh leave office immediately.

They are angry about corruption and unemployment in the country.

It was the eighth day of anti-government demonstrations in Yemen, which have been inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

The US embassy in Sanaa said on 18 February it had seen “a disturbing rise in the number and violence of attacks against Yemeni citizens” at protests.

An embassy statement said the attacks were “contrary to the commitments that President Saleh has made to protect the right of Yemeni citizens to gather peacefully to express their views”.

The embassy urged Yemen’s government “to prevent any further attacks on peaceful demonstrations and to ensure that all Yemenis, both pro and anti-government, have equal rights to speech and assembly”.

President Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, offered some concessions after the opposition coalition started organising protests last month.

He has agreed not to run for re-election and not to hand over power to his son.

But while the opposition coalition has agreed to hold talks, the concessions did not appease everyone and the latest demonstrations have been driven by a younger group, many of whom are students.

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