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Yemen Revolution Mounts amid Protests, Killings

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TEHRAN, May 14 (ICANA) – Tens of thousands turned out in the capital, Sana'a, calling on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit immediately. Many Yemenis believe the days of Saleh's presidency are numbered.
Saturday, May 14, 2011 11:55:37 AM
Yemen Revolution Mounts amid Protests, Killings

Security forces opened fire on demonstrators once again on Friday, leaving a number of people dead. The use of brute force to clamp down on peaceful protests has only served to fuel anti-regime sentiments.

More than 180 people are known to have been killed since the anti-government protests began in January. However, according to some human rights groups, the number of killed is far greater.

Similar demonstrations were staged across Yemen. In Ibb what started as peaceful demonstrations turned violent when police forces shot dead two anti government protesters and injured dozens of others, who were participating in a funeral procession.

A funeral procession was staged for those who were reportedly killed by the police on Wednesday and Thursday. Some 20 people were gunned down during a 24-hour period ending Thursday.

A pro-government rally was also held. Loyalists carried huge portraits of Saleh, and chanted "People want Saleh".

During a defiant speech to his supporters, Saleh again rejected calls for him to leave office. He referred to anti-regime protesters as law-breakers.

The parliamentary opposition denounced Saleh's defiant words as a declaration of war.

The Arab-mediated initiative for an orderly transition of power fell through after Saleh refused to sign a deal with the opposition. Under the initiative, the Yemeni President would transfer power to his vice-president in exchange for political immunity.

Meanwhile, Qatar has pulled out of mediation efforts by the GCC countries, criticizing Saleh's indecision.

The protest movement, outraged by the killings and the brinkmanship by the Saleh regime, say they will step up their activities until Saleh resigns.

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