Yemeni forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh fired at a protest march in Sana’a Sunday, wounding at least 22 people, doctors said, heightening tension as opposition leaders met Arab mediators in Saudi Arabia.
Doctors said around 200 more demonstrators were overcome by tear gas during the clashes when they marched outside their normal protest zone in the streets near Sanaa University, a hub of pro-democracy demonstrations that have lasted three months. The massive turnout suggests opposition forces have been able to tap into fresh outrage against Saleh after his comments Friday that mingling of men and women at protests violated Islamic law.
The wounded were rushed to hospital by ambulance and private car, and tear gas canisters littered the road. A protest official told anti-Saleh crowds over a loudspeaker that dozens of protesters had been arrested by a nearby mosque.
A military source denied that either republican guard or central security forces had fired on protesters.
Clashes also were reported to have taken place in Dhamar, just south of the capital.
14 held for shooting protesters
Fourteen people allegedly involved in the gunning down of 52 anti-regime protesters in Sana’a last month have been referred to Yemen’s state prosecutor, the interior ministry said Sunday.
“The Interior ministry has handed 14 people accused to the public prosecution over the tragic incidents” of March 18 near Sana’a University when “several protesters were martyred or wounded,” a ministry spokesman said. “Thirty other suspects will be questioned in connection with the same case,” he said, quoted by state news agency Saba. Agencies