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article imageMore deaths as violence escalates in Yemen

By Gemma Fox     Dec 3, 2011 in World
Sanaa - Violence has escalated in Yemen and more people die during continued protests about the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Protests have been going on in Yemen for at least 10 months now as residents demand a change to the ruling regime.
In January, following the uprising in Tunisia, protests began in Yemen and President Saleh vowed then that he wouldn't extend his leadership of the country to 2013 and he wouldn't hand over power to his son either.
In March protests increased in the country and people marched for democracy. More than 50 people were killed when police snipers opened fire on a pro-democracy camp in the capital Sanaa.
Over the months the violence has continued in Sanaa and to a degree the second city of Taiz. As anti-government fighters continued to clash with Yemeni troops concern was voiced from other countries in the region and in the west that the Yemen was sliding towards civil war.
Last month the violence in Taiz escalated and in an attempt to dampen the violence President Saleh handed power over to the Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Part of the deal was that Saleh would have immunity from prosecution. A date was set for elections.
This deal has done nothing to dampen the mood and since Thursday the violence has escalated in Taiz with government security forces shelling citizens.
Reuters reports that residents said:
...government forces used artillery, tanks and rockets on Saturday in residential areas of Taiz, trapping about 3,000 families in the commercial hub some 200 km south of the capital Sanaa.
Opposition fighters responded with medium and light fire...
Defying the shelling, tens of thousands of residents took to the street to protest about the deal Saleh had made and demanded that he be put on trial.
BBC News reports that 30 people have died since the escalation in violence that began on Thursday.
Despite an agreed ceasefire between opposition fighters and the governor of Taiz, fighting could still be heard said local residents. Heavy government reinforcements were said to be heading towards Taiz.
President Saleh has been in power in Yemen since 1978. In 1990 he became president of a unified Yemen after 12 years as president of North Yemen.
More about Protests, Yemen, Democracy, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, vice president abd rabbu mansour hadi
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