9 Killed in Violence in Yemen’s Capital

Posted September 22nd, 2011 at 11:29 am (UTC-5)
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The death toll from five days of clashes between pro- and anti-government forces in Yemen neared 100 on Thursday after renewed fighting erupted in the capital, Sana'a.

Witnesses and medical officials say at least nine people were killed in Thursday's unrest in the capital.

Witnesses say several of those killed were bystanders who were caught in crossfire between security forces and dissidents loyal to tribal leaders who switched sides and joined the opposition.

Violence escalated late last week after the country's youth-led protest movement stepped up demonstrations.

There was a brief truce late Tuesday. But on Wednesday, activists and witnesses said government forces killed at least nine people. The troops fired on mourners at a mass funeral and attacked civilians in Change Square, an encampment where thousands have staged a months-long sit-in seeking the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Also Wednesday, a Gulf mediator left Yemen with no word on a power-transfer deal. 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 long-stalled GCC plan that calls for President Saleh to hand over power to a deputy.

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