Over 25 protesters were killed and 500 injured by security forces in the capital Sana’a on Sunday, as they tried to break up one of the largest demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in recent months.
Security forces opened fire on the crowds and sprayed them with tear gas as tens of thousands spilled out of Change Square, where many youth have been camping out, demanding an end to Saleh’s 33-year rule.
Salim Allaw, one of the protestors at the square said, "This is the 26th massacre by the Saleh regime since the beginning of the revolution. The law enforcement forces of the Central Security objected to our peaceful march, and we announced it would be a peaceful march, we were not carrying weapons. They opened fire on us with heavy machine guns, and they used internationally banned tear gas."
However, the Defense Ministry said on its website that protesters threw petrol bombs, setting a police car ablaze. It blamed the leading Islamist opposition party, Islah, for opening fire on the crowds.
Heavy shelling targeted the area surrounding the home of a powerful Yemeni dissident tribal chief in Sana’a as his office and authorities exchanged blame over the violence.
Troops loyal to Saleh opened fire using machine guns and are firing mortar rounds on the area surrounding Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar’s home in al-Hasaba district.
The shelling, which began in the afternoon, also targeted Al-Mazda road in the district’s center, prompting people there to flee the area.
Salim Allaw, protestor