Yemen: 30 dead in massacre of protesters

Armed regime loyalists opened fire on protesters in a square they have been occupying at Yemen’s Sanaa University March 18, killing at least 32 and leaving some 200 wounded. Parliamentary opposition spokesman Mohammed al-Sabri accused the regime of a “massacre” and said “these killings will not help keep Ali Abdullah Saleh in power.” Thousands of people have camped out in the square since Feb. 21, demanding the departure of Saleh, a US ally who has held power since 1978. Police also fired warning shots as thousands marched in the southern port of Aden. Opposition leaders say over 70 have been killed since the anti-regime protests began this year. (Middle East Online, March 18)

In a statement, US President Barack Obama condemned the violence, urging Saleh to allow peaceful protests and stating that those responsible for the killings “must be held accountable.” France also demanded an end to attacks “by security forces and armed pro-government groups…against people exercising their rights to free speech and demonstration”, Reuters reports. (BBC News, March 18)

See our last posts on Yemen and the regional revolutions.

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