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Six Killed as Strike Chokes Yemen

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TEHRAN, April 30 (ICANA) – Women shout slogans during an anti-government rally against Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa April 28, 2011.
Saturday, April 30, 2011 9:26:35 PM
Six Killed as Strike Chokes Yemen

Two servicemen and four civilians have been killed and 23 people wounded in southern Yemen during a general strike called by anti-government protesters.

The defense ministry said an officer and a soldier were killed and two more soldiers were wounded, but gave no further details as tension mounted in the restive region, AFP reported.

One civilian and two servicemen were also injured in the incident.

The troops moved into the area from where they suspected the attack was launched and opened fire, killing at least three civilians and wounding at least another 15 more.

The wounded were taken to a hospital in Aden. Another body and three wounded people were also taken to private hospitals.

The incident came after Yemenis in Aden heeded an opposition call for a nation-wide strike to paralyze the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Since late January, Aden has been a hotbed of protests against the 32-year-old rule of Saleh.

The general strike comes a day after hundreds of thousands of protesters poured onto the streets across Yemen, in the biggest rally since the protests broke out two months ago.

The demonstrators, who were attending the funeral of 12 anti-government protesters killed by security forces on Wednesday, vowed to continue their protests until Saleh's ouster.

The protesters also condemned a deal proposed by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council under which Saleh will receive complete immunity from prosecution in return for transferring power to his vice president and submitting his resignation to Parliament within 30 days.

The agreement is due to be signed in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Many protesters, however, say Saleh cannot be trusted to honor the deal.

According to local sources, since the beginning of anti-Saleh demonstrations across Yemen, at least 300 protesters have been killed and many others injured during clashes with riot police and armed forces loyal to the unpopular Yemeni president.

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