Security forces in Yemen have opened fire on peaceful protesters in the capital Sanaa on Tuesday, wounding at least 75 people demonstrating for an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule.
Three of the wounded were in a serious condition, according to medical sources.
Policemen and security agents in civilian clothes opened fire as they tried to prevent people from joining thousands of
protesters who have camped out for weeks in front of Sanaa University, the epicentre of the demonstrations.
Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the capital Sanaa, said the security forces were "clearly given orders to disperse the crowd."
"This is a dramatic turn of events that will likely raise tensions. The protesters were trying to move to Tahrir Square, and the government seems to have panicked," he added.
Our correspondent points out that the shooting comes few weeks after president Saleh pledged to protect peaceful protesters.
There was no immediate government comment.