2 protesters slain, dozens wounded by Yemen police
SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni police trying to disperse thousands of antigovernment protesters in two cities yesterday killed two and wounded at least 47, some by gunfire, according to witnesses. In one of the cities, protesters overran a government building.
Gunmen fired at protesters in the central city of Bayda from the roof of a building belonging to the ruling party, killing two people and injuring seven, activist Ghazi al-Amiri said. In the southern city of Taiz, police fired live ammunition and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators there, injuring 40 people, said field doctor Sadeq al-Shujah.
Taiz has been a hotbed of antigovernment protests. Activist Nouh al-Wafi said crowds seized control of the Oil Ministry building and hung a banner over the entrance yesterday that said “Closed until further notice by order of the youth revolution.’’
Bushra al-Maktari, an activist in Taiz, said police fired tear gas at the demonstrators, and the government sent army and security reinforcements to confront thousands camped in the city’s central square.
Demonstrations took place in Aden, Hadramawt, Hodeida, and other cities.
Protesters have been demanding the resignation of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh in weeks of demonstrations, some involving tens of thousands of people. Saleh has been clinging to power, warning that if he leaves without an orderly succession, the Al Qaeda branch in Yemen will take advantage of the resulting chaos.
Saleh torpedoed a mediation effort last month that appeared to be close to resolving the crisis.