Wednesday, 27 April 2011

At least 7 killed and 28 injured in rival demonstrations in Sana’a

By Nasser Arrabyee/27/04/2011

At least seven protesters were killed and 20 others injured when security forces opened fire to disperse anti-Saleh demonstrators who were clashing with pro-Saleh demonstrator nearby the state-run Tv building, demonstrators from both sides.

The anti-Saleh protesters were marching from their permanent square at the gate of Sana’a university to the northern 60 ring road where the ministry of information, May 22 Stadium, and the state-run Tv building are located.

The pro-Saleh protesters who are camping out in the May22 Stadium clashed with a small part of the anti-Saleh march at the gate of the Stadium.

“We were at the end of the march, after the majority of march passed the gate of the Stadium, Baltagis intercepted us, and then gunmen fired at us,” said Ala’a Khawlani, one of the anti-Saleh protesters.

“I my self saw seven dead, and about 20 injured,” he said.

Al Khawlani said that the pro-Saleh protesters attacked them only after the majority of the march passed the gate of the Stadium.

“Were were only about 500-600, at the end of the march, when the Baltagis attacked us,” said Al Khawlani.

However, Abdul Malik Saeed, from the pro-Saleh protesters who are camping out inside the Stadium, said that the anti-Saleh protesters who, at the end of the march, set fire to two cars carrying pictures of President Saleh before the clashes with them with hands and sticks.

“We would not intercept their way if they did not start to set fire to our cars,” said Abdul Malik Saeed.

“8 of us were injured,” Saeed said.

One of the anti-Saleh protesters also said some of them were trying to provoke the security forces at the three gates of the ministry of information.

“We agreed to be peaceful march, but some of us, unfortunately, were trying to things we did not agree on like stopping at the gates of the ministry of information, and the Stadium, and this caused the violence that happened today,” said of the injured protesters, who preferred to be named only as A. A. M. because he did not want to be misunderstood by his colleagues.

 “I refuse any kind of violence from any side,” He said.

He agreed with many protesters that the march was to the Saudi Arabia embassy to tell them their refusal to the GCC plan.

“But at the last minute, the march was directed to the street where the violence can happen,” the protester A.A .M said.

The opposition and the government are expected to sign Monday May 2, 2011, a US-backed- Saudi-led GCC plan to see Saleh step down in one month.

The young people in the street totally refuse the plan and demand the immediate ouster of Saleh.

However, the opposition is expected to convince the young people to commit to the plan after being signed. The Islamist party, Islah, is leading the opposition coalition, and majority of the young people in the street and their leaders belong to Islah party.

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