Monday, September 19, 2011

Violence in Yemen

Yemen's regime, which many hoped would collapse when President Ali Abdullah Saleh went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, has begun a violent crackdown on protestors, to which opposition military forces have responded:
"Violence convulsed the streets of Yemen’s capital for a second day on Monday as government security forces battled soldiers who have joined antigovernment protesters in their movement to force President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign. It was the worst violence since March in Yemen, the Arab world’s most impoverished country and a haven for Islamic militants.

"Medical officials in the capital said at least 28 people were killed on Monday, pushing the death toll from two days of fighting in Sana, the capital, to more than 50 — most of them unarmed protesters — and raising fears here that the escalation of deadly mayhem is hurtling Yemen toward a civil war...

"After sporadic gunfire overnight, fighting intensified as rocket-propelled grenades fell near the protesters, and forces loyal to Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, who has aligned himself with the protesters, fired artillery at positions held by government forces nearby. At least one residential building near the protest was in flames. Later Monday, witnesses said snipers were firing at protesters from rooftops.

"Soldiers from the First Armored Division, commanded by General Ahmar, had taken over the area Sunday evening after clashing with security forces. Protesters set up tents in the major intersection, improbably known as Kentucky Square because of a restaurant resembling a KFC outlet that used to be there. The intersection has become the new frontline of fighting."

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



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