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Yemen’s capital sees third day of violence amid protests

by Jorge Hernandez on October 17, 2011

Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, has been rocked by explosions and gunfire over the past few days as opposition forces have staged protests against the ruling government. The uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been ongoing, but the situation escalated over the weekend and into Monday morning, leaving a number of protesters dead, according to The New York Times.

Protesters have been staging a sit-in near the government headquarters in a region known as Kentucky Square since February. However, in an attempt to end a political stalemate, opposition forces have begun to march outside of their original location. The government has retaliated by firing into crowds. Sunday saw particularly high mortality rates – during the day at least five protesters were killed, and a medic working at the sit-in said an additional four people were killed overnight by stray mortar fire.

President Saleh has largely ignored calls from international groups asking him to give up his power. He said recently, only days before the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Yemen, that Western government heads were misinformed and "just take their information from shows and from the opposition who considers itself oppressed and is vying for its own victory," according to the news source.

On Monday, thousands of women took to the streets in Sanaa, urging the U.N. to intervene on behalf of the opposition, reports CNN. The march took place after the first female protester was killed by Yemeni fire. Many women who marched said they saw snipers on the roof of the foreign ministry during protests on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Saleh has tired to frame the protesters as aggressors, saying that they are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.  

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