Sana’a, March 18 (IANS) As at least 41 protesters, including a child, were killed and over 100 others were injured in police firing on tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators outside Sana’a University in the Yemeni capital Friday, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh Friday declared a state of emergency in the country.
The declaration of emergency came after Saleh’s meeting with the country’s higher National Defense Council, where the president expressed his deep regret over the shooting on the protesters after Friday’s prayers, an official of the defence ministry told Xinhua.
Twific al-Yaziday, a witness of the Friday’s police firing, said: “The child was hit by a bullet in his head.”
There were more than 20 protesters who suffered injuries in heads and necks, al-Yaziday added.
Al-Yaziday, who is at the hospital outside Sana’a University, citing doctors’ reports said that over 200 protesters were injured and the toll could well rise further.
“After the Friday prayers, police forces fired live ammunition at about 200,000 protesters,” al-Yaziday stated.
Till Thursday, over 30 people had been killed in government crackdowns on the anti-government demonstrations which have shaken Yemen since Feb 11.
Encouraged by the uprising sweeping the region, Yemenis have been demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule as well as political and economic reforms.