Yemeni police have opened fire on anti-government protesters in the capital Sana’a and killed at least one demonstrator and injured dozens more.
Police fired live rounds and tear gas grenades during a protest near Sana’a University on Saturday, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The protesters, camping out in a square near the university since February 21, are calling for the resignation of decades-long President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
At least 300 people also sustained injuries or were affected by the tear gas, the medics said.
The fresh violence came a day after at least two protesters were killed by Yemeni security forces in the southern city of Aden.
Eighteen others were also wounded after security forces used tear gas and live bullets to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters demanding democratic change and marching towards Aden’s Khor Maksar neighborhood, where foreign consulates are located.
Anti-government protesters in Yemen demand the ouster of President Saleh, who has ruled the country since 1978.
The deadly crackdown on peaceful demonstrations came after the embattled Yemeni president promised to protect the demonstrators on Thursday.
“We have ordered the security forces to continue to provide protection for all the protesters, whether they are supporters of our legitimacy or from the opposition,” Saleh said.
After weeks of nationwide protests, the Yemeni president bowed to pressure from the opposition and announced plans to change the constitution to move to a parliamentary system.
He also said a national unity government would be formed by the end of 2011 to oversee the process of constitutional reform.
The opposition, however, described the measures as too late, saying the demands of the protesters were “bigger than that.”
Since the beginning of anti-Saleh demonstrations, dozens of protesters have been killed and hundreds of others left injured in clashes with security forces or supporters of Saleh, who are armed with knives and batons. Agencies