Yemen: Security forces open fire on protesters in Sanaa
- 17 April 2011
- From the section Middle East
Yemeni security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters gathered in the capital, Sanaa, eyewitnesses say.
Hundreds of thousands took part in the demonstrations to reiterate calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. Doctors said dozens were injured.
Many women took part in the protests, angry at President Saleh's comments last week that their behaviour was against Islam.
More than 100 people have died in two months of protests against Mr Saleh.
The Yemeni leader, who has been in power for more than three decades, has said he is willing to hand over power, but only to "safe hands".
An opposition delegation, led by former Foreign Minister Mohammed Basindwa, is meanwhile in Saudi Arabia for talks with Gulf Arab mediators.
In Sanaa, authorities opened fire with live ammunition and tear gas, witnesses said.
"We neared the Sanaa Trade Centre when police confronted us with tear gas, and suddenly opened heavy gunfire on us from all directions," Sabry Mohammed, a protester, told Reuters news agency.
"A state of terror set in among the demonstrators, and some of them fled into side streets," he added.
Mohammed al-Abahi, the head doctor at the protesters' field hospital, told the Associated Press that at least 30 people were wounded, including two hit by bullets.
There were also reports of clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the southern city of Damar, in which several people were wounded.
Protests were also reported in other cities, including Taiz, Aden and al-Hudaida.