UN: Yemen Protest Violence Kills Hundreds

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 9:47 am (UTC-5)
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United Nations human rights officials say six months of protest-related violence in Yemen has killed hundreds of people and injured thousands more.

A report from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Tuesday says their mission in Yemen dispatched from June 28 to July 6 found the Yemeni government used excessive lethal force against peaceful Yemenis protesting for greater freedoms.

It said the violence led to hundreds of deaths across the country and thousands of injuries, including the loss of limbs.

The U.N. human rights officials are calling for an international probe into rights violations in Yemen.

Yemen has seen months of political turmoil with demonstrators calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

On Monday, Mr. Saleh authorized his deputy to begin talks with the opposition in an effort to bring an end to the crisis.

Mr. Saleh remains in Saudi Arabia, recovering from injuries sustained during a June attack on his presidential compound in Sana'a. He has not returned to Yemen since seeking medical care in Saudi Arabia.

The state news agency SABA says Mr. Saleh gave Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi the necessary constitutional authority to sign off on a Gulf Cooperation Council plan for the transfer of power.

The latest plan calls for Mr. Saleh to hand power to a deputy and allow a coalition to form a national unity government.

The six-nation GCC initially proposed its plan in April in an effort to end months of anti-government protests in Yemen. Mr. Saleh agreed to the proposal three times, but each time backed out before the deal could be signed.