Monday, May 30, 2011

Just as in Libya and Syria, Here Come the Tanks in Yemen: Yemeni demonstrators killed as troops raid protest camp

Medical workers say at least 20 dead as Republican Guards use tanks and bulldozers to clear activists in city of Taiz

Associated Press, Monday 30 May 2011

"Hundreds of soldiers loyal to Yemen's embattled president have stormed a protest camp in a southern city and fired on the crowds indiscriminately, killing at least 20 people, according to medical officials and witnesses.

The city of Taiz has been a hotbed of anti-government protests since crowds began calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster in early February.

The heavy crackdown there signalled Saleh was still intent on preserving his 33-year rule despite the upheaval, intense international pressure to step aside and defections by key allies and some army units.

Security forces first tried to clear the square in Taiz on Monday with water cannon, tear gas and sound bombs, sending thousands rushing for shelter.

Forces from the Republican Guard, which is commanded by one of Saleh's sons [Does this sound familiar? Just as in Libya and Syria!], then moved in before dawn with tanks and bulldozers, said Sadek al-Shugaa, the head of a field hospital at the protest camp.

Republican Guard soldiers along with security forces and armed men in civilian clothes attacked the protesters. Some set fire to dozens of tents used by the demonstrators, and bulldozers ran over hundreds of other tents without checking whether any protesters were still inside, two witnesses said.

One of them, Mohammed al-Zarafi, said he saw tents being set on fire while injured protesters were still inside......."

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