News / Middle East

Reporter Sees Hundreds of Wounded in Hospital After Yemen Police Fire on Protesters

A wounded anti-government protester, who died from his wounds, is carried to a field hospital during clashes with security forces in Sana'a, Yemen, March 18, 2011
A wounded anti-government protester, who died from his wounds, is carried to a field hospital during clashes with security forces in Sana'a, Yemen, March 18, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Yemen’s president declared a state of emergency across the country today.  President Ali Abdullah Saleh made the announcement just hours after security forces fired on protesters in the capital city Sana'a.  At least 30 are dead and hundreds more injured.  Tom Finn is an editor at the Yemen Times newspaper in Sana'a. He was outside Sana'a University this morning when the violence began.

Hilleary: I understand you were in University Square in Sana'a this morning when the violence took place. Can you tell us what you saw?

Finn: I was at Sana'a university this morning where a huge prayer was being held. Thousands and thousands of protesters gathered at the gates to the university to mourn the deaths of seven protesters who were killed in violence last weekend. The protest started peacefully, but as soon as the prayers had finished, some anti-government protesters set fire to a car at the end of this mile-long stretch of road. The sight of this billowing smoke attracted the attention of all these protesters, who then began surging towards it.  

Now, eyewitnesses told me that Yemeni soldiers started opening fire on these protesters, who were trying to march out of the University area. They were then later joined by plain-clothes government supporters who also fired upon these protesters from the roofs of nearby houses.

So I then went to the nearby hospital, which is actually a mosque that has been turned into a hospital. And there were hundreds and hundreds of people being brought in. It was a chaotic scene. People had been shot in the chest, in the legs. I saw at least 20 people who had been shot dead, shot in the back of the head. They were lined out on the floor in the main prayer room of the mosque. People were being ferried off to the hospital in ambulances - generally, just a chaotic scene. The doctors were underequipped. They ran out of bandages at one point.

So, this is what would be seen as a seriously violent crackdown on these protesters, who’ve been gathering outside the University for a month now.

Hilleary: What does the nature of the wounds say about those who did it and their intentions?

Finn: An Indian doctor told me that whoever had been firing on these protesters was shooting to kill. They weren’t shooting to try and injure them or to disperse them. They were shooting in order to kill them. As I said, I saw three people who had gaping wounds in the back of their heads and who’d been shot in the back of their heads, which suggests that they may have been running away as they were fired upon.

Hilleary: Has the government issued any statement?

Finn: They are yet to issue any statement on what has happened. Whilst these anti-government protests were going on, there were also big pro-government rallies in the main square in Sana'a, so most of the estate media has until now been focused on these pro-government rallies, which also had huge numbers, maybe up to 100,000 people gathering to support the president.

For more information please visit Yemen Times newspaper at http://www.yementimes.com/.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid