News / Middle East

Gulf Mediator Leaves Yemen; Violence Continues

A Yemeni anti-government protester flashes the V for 'victory' sign ahead of funeral of those killed following three days of clashes between rival troops and attacks on anti-regime protesters in Sana'a, Sep, 21, 2011.
A Yemeni anti-government protester flashes the V for 'victory' sign ahead of funeral of those killed following three days of clashes between rival troops and attacks on anti-regime protesters in Sana'a, Sep, 21, 2011.

A Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) mediator has left Yemen with no word on a possible agreement for a peaceful transfer of power, while shelling in the capital left at least three people dead on Wednesday.

A state news report says GCC chief Abdul Latif al-Zayani left Sana'a Wednesday after meeting with Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The head of the six-nation council traveled to Yemen on Monday in an attempt to revive a GCC plan that calls for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to a deputy.

Medical officials say artillery fire near a protest camp in the capital left at least three people dead and 16 wounded on Wednesday. The unrest between pro and anti-government forces erupted less than 24 hours after the two sides agreed to a cease-fire.

Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi negotiated the cease-fire late Tuesday between government forces and dissident troops that are loyal to Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a top general who defected to the opposition in March. The truce followed three days of clashes that had killed more than 70 people. Some of Wednesday's unrest occurred as thousands of mourners gathered in Sana'a for funerals of the victims.

Yemen's youth-led protest movement stepped up demonstrations last week. Anti-government activists were angered by President Ali Abdullah Saleh's decision to instruct his deputy to negotiate a power-sharing deal, a move they called a dilatory tactic to avoid stepping down.

Diplomats and Yemeni politicians have been trying to revive a long-stalled transition plan from the Gulf Cooperation Council which calls for Saleh to hand over power to a deputy.

Saleh has agreed to the GCC proposal three times since April. However, in each case, he has backed out before a deal could be signed.

The president remains in Saudi Arabia, where he is recovering from injuries sustained in a June attack on his presidential compound in Sana'a.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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