Nine Killed in Yemen as Gulf Mediator Departs

Posted September 21st, 2011 at 8:38 pm (UTC-5)
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Yemeni government forces fired on mourners at a mass funeral and clashed with dissident soldiers in the capital, Sana'a, killing at least nine people Wednesday as a Gulf mediator left the country with no word on a power-transfer deal.

Following an hours-long cease-fire, heavy gunfire and explosions shattered funeral prayers for anti-government protesters killed in the deadly, four-day crackdown.

Government forces also shelled the headquarters of the renegade First Armored Division in Sana'a and attacked civilians in Change Square, the 4-kilometer encampment where thousands have staged a months-long sit-in at the foot of the military base.

More than 85 people, mostly unarmed civilians, have been killed in clashes since Yemen's youth-led protest movement stepped up demonstrations last week.

Meanwhile, Gulf Cooperation Council chief Abdul Latif al-Zayani left Sana'a after meeting with Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The head of the six-nation council had traveled to Yemen Monday in an attempt to revive a GCC plan that calls for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to a deputy.

Diplomats have been trying to revive the GCC's long-stalled transition plan.

Mr. Saleh has agreed to the 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.