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Yemeni Forces Fire on Protesters

An opposition follower escorting anti-government protesters shouts slogans as he holds up his rifle during a demonstration to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern city of Taiz, July 21, 2011

Medical officials in Yemen say security forces have opened fire on anti-government protesters in the southern city of Taiz, killing at least one person.

They say at least three other people were wounded in the Thursday confrontation.

Yemenis seeking the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been demonstrating across the country for five months.

Meanwhile, the government says its forces killed two senior members of the local al-Qaida branch during fighting in southern Abyan province earlier in the week.

Authorities identified one of the militants as Ayed al-Shabwani. He had been on the government's most-wanted list of al-Qaida linked militants.

Islamist militants, some with al-Qaida links, have taken control of several towns in southern Yemen in recent months, as government forces confront the opposition uprising in other parts of the country.

Saleh remains in Saudi Arabia, where he has been recovering from injuries sustained in a June bombing at his presidential compound. He has resisted international efforts and initiatives by neighboring Gulf Arab states to end the political stalemate and agree a timetable to give up power.

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

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