Snipers kill 41 in Yemeni protests
Published 19/03/2011 | 05:00
Pro-regime snipers positioned on rooftops in the Yemeni capital Sana'a shot dead at least 41 protesters yesterday as authoritarian regimes across the Middle East grappled with a fresh wave of popular unrest.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's veteran president, declared a countrywide state of emergency after reneging on a pledge to protect demonstrators demanding an end to his 32-year rule.
Loyalist gunmen, believed to be members of the Yemeni security forces, opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters who massed outside Sana'a university, the epicentre of a month-long popular campaign to overthrow the president.
Doctors said about 41 people were killed and 200 more wounded on the single bloodiest day since the eruption of the protests against Mr Saleh, a key US ally in the war against al-Qa'ida, which has a significant presence in Yemen.
The opposition coalition at the forefront of the demonstrations said yesterday's bloodshed had now made any negotiations with Mr Saleh impossible.