Tuesday, 20 September 2011

More than 50 killed in Sana'a over last two days

According to a number of sources, explosions all over Sana'a were heard throughout the night. It is thought that at least two people died during clashes with security forces, who continue firing shells at protester camps in Yemen's capital.

The country's security troops launched an offensive on protesters on Sunday 18th September, killing more than 50 people in two days. Congregations of anti-government activists have occupied various corners of Sana'a during the course of the year, calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Saleh, who has been in power for over three decades, is currently in Saudi Arabia. He fled to the neighbouring country in June after sustaining various injuries when a rocket hit his presidential compound. Despite a number of calls for Saleh to step down, the Yemeni president remains in power and has continually vowed to return to Yemen.

The ongoing violence has been exacerbated in the last couple of days by security forces shooting at protesters from the rooftops. Government officials, however, have continued to deny that soldiers are targeting civilians, saying the unrest has been incited by Al-Qa'ida elements within the opposition.

More protests and deadly clashes between security forces and civilians have been reported in the cities of Taiz and Aden. Yemen has been plagued by internal problems and poverty for decades, as well as rampant terrorism.

On Monday 19th September, UN and Gulf Cooperation Council envoys landed in Yemen in a bid to sort out a ceasefire deal and stop the violence. It is yet to be seen whether or not the mission will be successful.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, AFP

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

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