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Yemen Declares State of Emergency

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TEHRAN, March 19 (ICANA) – The Yemeni Capital of Sana'a witnessed the bloodiest day since early February when mass protests against the regime started.
Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:22:59 PM
Yemen Declares State of Emergency

Unidentified gunmen deployed on the rooftops of buildings surrounding Change square opened fire on protesters, killing dozens of people and injuring many more.

Eyewitnesses say most of the victims were shot in the head, chest or neck. Ambulances and medics rushed to the scene to transfer the injured to nearby hospitals. The mosque near the square was full of injured demonstrators. The number of those seriously wounded was so high that medics struggled as they tried desperately to help.

The incident began to unfold as the demonstration grew in size and reached the southern part of the square. This Friday, which was dubbed by the protesters as the day of honor and vigilance, witnessed the largest protest at Change square since the revolution movement began.

Human rights groups denounced such excessive use of force and called on the government to end its brutal clampdown on peaceful protests.

Following the bloodshed in Change square, president Ali Abdullah Saleh declared a state of emergency. Security was beefed up in Sana'a to prevent any move by tribesmen or revolutionaries to gain some real ground.

Protesters want President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. Saleh has been in power for 32 two years. He has agreed no to seek another term when his current term ends in 2013 but has shown no sign of leaving before then. He has also announced plans to set up a parliamentary system. However, his concessions have failed to satisfy the demonstrators who want him to resign.

Every Friday, anti-government protests appear to be gaining momentum, though for now it remains unclear what the future has in store for Yemen 's revolution.

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