Clashes break out in Yemen, 15 injured: doctors

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 18, 2011 6:53 AM
Clashes break out in Yemen, 15 injured: doctors

SANAA (Reuters) - Clashes broke out in Yemen's Red Sea port of Hudaida on Monday, wounding at least 15 people as plainclothes police fired shots and protesters responded by hurling rocks, witnesses and doctors said.

Residents told Reuters that plainclothes police, armed with bats, pistols and stones, attacked thousands of protesters who had marched into the streets, moving outside the square where they have been camped out for weeks in demonstrations calling for the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule.

Some 15 people were wounded, two were shot and the others were beaten or hit with stones, doctors said. Witnesses said protesters retreated back to their camp after the clashes, and the streets returned to calm.

Tensions have run high across the deeply impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, where half the country's 23 million people are armed, as transition talks between the opposition and the government stall. Protests which gather tens of thousands of people almost daily have now run into their third month.

No major breakthrough came of a meeting between opposition leaders and foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Saudi Arabia Sunday night. The Gulf Arab states have offered to mediate for Yemen, but the opposition wants guarantees of a quick handover of power and a removal of Saleh from his post.

(Reporting by Mohamed Sudam and Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Erika Solomon; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)