Yemen: four dead as security forces break student sit-in

Four were killed in fighting between anti-government protesters and security forces in Yemen March 12, even as President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised the White House that he would not use violence against the demonstrators. At least three people were killed in the capital, where some 100,000 staged a sit-in at Sanaa University to demand Saleh’s ouster. As police used tear gas to break up the sit-in, pro-government snipers opened fire from rooftops. The fourth casualty, a 14-year-old boy, was killed in a protest the southern port city of Mukalla. In a bid to counter what he called “sedition,” Saleh went on TV to pledge a referendum on a new constitution later this year, which would devolve further powers to parliament. But the move was dismissed by the opposition. “The president’s initiative is too late and constitutes the last breath of the political regime which protesters demand and end to,” parliamentary opposition spokesman Mohammad al-Sabri said. (NYT, Middle East Online, March 11)

See our last posts on Yemen, and the regional wave of revolution.

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