News / Middle East

Yemeni Protester Dies After Police Attack

Medics carry an injured anti-government protester at a makeshift clinic outside Sana'a University, March 8, 2011
Medics carry an injured anti-government protester at a makeshift clinic outside Sana'a University, March 8, 2011

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Medical officials in Yemen say a protester died Wednesday, a day after police and security agents in civilian clothes fired live rounds and tear gas to prevent people from joining anti-government demonstrators in the capital Sana'a.

Officials say at least 80 people were wounded in Tuesday's incident.

Thousands of protesters have camped out for weeks in front of Sana'a University, demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule.

The shooting at the campus followed an anti-government riot by inmates at the capital's Central Prison. That unrest began late Monday, when prisoners demanding reforms announced they were joining the protest movement.

Video clip: Yemeni protest

Yemeni rights groups said at least two prisoners were killed and 60 people wounded as guards fought to control the situation.

Other rallies were held across the country Tuesday. For the first time since the protests began almost a month ago, a large anti-government demonstration took place in Dhamar province, a ruling party stronghold just south of the capital.

In southern Ibb province, tens of thousands took to the streets, calling on the government to bring to justice those responsible for a deadly attack there Sunday that killed one person and injured 53 others. Protesters also marched in the southern port city of Aden.

Protesters are demanding greater participation in a government largely led by Saleh's closest allies. They say they are frustrated by rampant corruption and soaring unemployment, which is at 35 percent or higher.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi appealed to rich Gulf countries Tuesday for $6 billion in additional aid to help plug a widening budget gap. Qirbi blamed the unrest on poor economic conditions.

Some 40 percent of Yemen's 23 million people live on $2 a day or less and a third face chronic hunger.

Saleh called for national dialogue during a meeting on Monday, but opposition leaders quickly rejected the offer. The president has said he plans to remain in office until his term ends in 2013.

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

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