Watchman Newsletter

Yemen imposes state of emergency after bloody crackdown

USA Today (Link) - Douglas Stanglin (March 18, 2011)

More than 30 people were killed and 200 injured when Yemeni forces fired on protesters in the capital, Sanaa, Al-Jazeera reports.

The Associated Press, which initially put the death toll at two, says shots came from rooftops and nearby houses as protesters filled the square near the university after Friday prayers.

Demonstrators have camped out in squares across Yemen for over a month to demand that President Ali Abdullah Saleh leave office.

Government forces and supporters have used live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas, sticks, knives and rocks in an increasingly deadly crackdown, the AP says.

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET: The New York Times, which initially reported a death toll of at least 10, says government supporters in plainclothes fired down on the demonstration from rooftops and windows almost immediately after the protesters rose from their noon prayers.

Update at 8:47 a.m. ET: The Associated Press quotes Yemeni doctors as saying at least 31 people have been killed by police shooting at anti-government protesters.

Update at 11:22 a.m. ET: Yemen�s president has declared a nationwide state of emergency as the government intensifies a crackdown on protesters demanding his ouster. The move comes after more than 30 demonstrators were killed by Yemeni police following Friday prayers in downtown Sanaa, the capital.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh says the decision was made by the country�s Highest Defense Council, but there was no immediate word on how long the emergency laws would be in place, the AP reports. �

Signs of the Times