Monday, July 11, 2011

Random fire kills 12 in Yemen

Yemeni protesters (file photo)

Source: Press TV

A dozen Yemeni civilians have been killed and over 200 others injured as supporters of Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh opened random fire to celebrate his recent TV appearance.

Celebratory shots fired by forces loyal to Saleh in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a have claimed the lives of 12 civilians and wounded 222 others, a Press TV correspondent reported early on Monday.

Similarly on Sunday, Yemen's Republic Guard pounded the residential compound of the tribal chief Hammud Sayed al-Mekhlafi in the southwest Yemeni city of Taizz, reportedly killing three civilians and injuring many others.

Yemenis are pressing ahead with their nationwide rallies, which they launched in January, demanding the overthrow of Saleh's regime.

The opposition has also called for the dissolution of parliament and the country's consultative council as well as the formation of a committee to draw up a new constitution and set dates for holding a referendum on the constitution and for elections.

Meanwhile, the US President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism aide John Brennan met Saleh in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, urging him to sign an Arab-brokered power transfer proposal which will end his 33-year rule.

"During the meeting, Mr. Brennan called upon President Saleh to fulfill expeditiously his pledge to sign the PGCC-brokered agreement for peaceful and constitutional political transition in Yemen," the White House said.

The deal was originally proposed by the six-nation [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC).

Saleh was relocated to Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment after he sustained serious injuries in a rocket attack on his presidential palace on June 3.

He has been in power for nearly 33 years with several opposition members arguing that his long-promised political and economic reforms have never materialized.

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