Yemeni security forces fired live bullets, tear gas and water cannon on two pro-democracy demonstrations on Saturday, killing three people, one a 15-year-old student. Hundreds more were injured as the government clamped down on a growing protest movement, according to witnesses. The violence began with a pre-dawn raid on a central square in the capital, Sanaa, where thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been camped out for the past month to demand the end of President Ali Abdullah Salehs’ reign. An ally in the Obama’s administration’s fight against al-Qaida, Saleh has been in power for 32 years. Doctors and eyewitnesses said security troops surrounded the square with police cars and armoured personnel carriers shortly after midnight and began calling on protesters through loudspeakers to go home. At 5 a.m. (0800 GMT), security forces stormed in, firing tear gas and live ammunition. One protester died from a bullet to the head, which may have come from a sniper on the rooftop of a nearby building, witnesses said. A few hours later, another protester was shot dead in a nearby street.
Thousands of anti-government protesters and supporters of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh threw stones and other objects at each other in violent clashes in the capital Sanaa on Saturday. The sound of gunfire could also be clearly heard and protesters carrying machine guns were visible running through the streets.
Several anti-government protesters were injured, including at least one man who was shot in the shoulder. Yemeni riot police also shot dead a protester and injured five others when they opened fire on a march of thousands of demonstrators. Riot police backed by plain-clothes elements confronted the rioters, opening fire and throwing stones.