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Fourteen wounded in new clashes in Yemen: activists

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 11:23 AM
Fourteen wounded in new clashes in Yemen: activists

SANAA (Reuters) - Yemeni security forces opened live fire and used tear gas on Thursday on protesters demanding an end to the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounding at least 14, activists said.

They said the clashes took place in the capital Sanaa and the southern city of Taiz and that 10 of the protesters were hurt when police used live fire and tear gas.

Protesters in Taiz said two people were hit by bullets while another two suffered from the effects of tear gas.

Some 150 people were wounded on Wednesday when security forces tried to break up a rally in the Red Sea city of Hudaida.

The Arabian Peninsula state, neighbor to oil giant Saudi Arabia, has been hit by weeks of protests trying to shake loose Saleh's 32-year grip on power.

Both pro- and anti-government factions appear to have increasingly resorted to violence.

Yemen's rial has fallen up to almost 8 percent against the dollar in the past week as unrest takes a toll on the poor Arab country's economy, traders said late on Wednesday.

The central bank has slapped unspecified penalties on 10 currency exchanges and other firms for dealing in dollars above the official set rate of about 214 rials.

The United States, which has long seen Saleh as a bulwark against an active al Qaeda wing based in Yemen, has condemned the bloodshed and backed the right to peaceful protest. But it has also insisted only dialogue can end the political crisis.

(Reporting by Mohamed Ghobari)