Dozens injured in clashes in northwest Yemen

08:24, February 22, 2011      

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Score of government backers wielding knives and batons clashed Monday with hundreds of anti-regime armless protesters in Yemen's northwest province of Al-Hodayda, leaving dozens injured, according to a local police source.

Policemen managed to break up the clashes as tension soared among protesters, the source said, asking not to be named.

Meanwhile, a senior security official of the Interior Ministry in Aden denied reports that an anti-regime protester was shot dead by police gunshot earlier Monday in Khour Maksar district.

"The reports which said a protester named Ali al-Khalaqi was died of his wounds was baseless as no one bearing such name is in Aden's hospitals," the official told Xinhua by phone, admitting that there were a number of protesters who were injured.

In the capital of Sanaa, nearly 7,000 anti-regime protesters, mostly students, continued Monday a sit-in outside Sanaa University to press long-service president to resign, a police officer in charge of guarding the university said.

The protester erected tents late Sunday at where they called " Changing square," in front of the main gate of Sanaa University as security authorities blocked all roads leading to the campus and stationed policemen to protect the protesters against potential aggression from their rivals who supporting the government.

"No clashes happened," the police officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, southern provinces of Taiz and Ibb also witnessed massive rallies demanding the overthrowing of Ali Abdullah Saleh's power on Monday.

Yemen has witnessed escalating protests demanding the end of embattled Saleh's 33-year rule since earlier this month, inspired by Egypt's protests that forced the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11.

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