Two protesters killed, 50 injured in clashes with police in Yemeni capital

11:42, April 20, 2011      

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People gather to take part in a protest outside the foreign ministry in Sanaa, capital of Yemen, April 19, 2011. The Yemeni Interior ministry said Tuesday that five of its security personnel were killed and 591 others were wounded in separate clashes with the protesters since mid February. (Xinhua/Yin Ke)

At least two protesters were killed and 50 others wounded on Tuesday in Yemeni capital Sanaa when police used live ammunition and tear-gas bombs to disperse a march of thousands of protesters demanding ousting of the country's leader, witnesses said.

"The clashes took place when the protesters marched in front of the Foreign Ministry's building in al-Siteen Street in Sanaa, in which they said they wanted to deliver a message of their demands to the international community," eyewitnesses and protest organizers said.

The injured were rushed to a clinic in the hub of the protesters' sit-in near Sanaa University, they said.

One of the protest organizers told Xinhua that two protesters died of police gunshot they sustained during the clashes and up to 50 others were wounded or suffering inhalation due to tear gas.

The clashes, which were still going on, took place ahead of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers' meeting on Tuesday with representatives of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to discuss the political crisis in Yemen.

Yemen has witnessed political crisis ignited by opposition- backed street protests since mid February. The protests, which demanded the end of the 33-year rule of Saleh, undermined the security and stability of the country

Saleh, who has already admitted losing control of several provinces, is warning of civil war and national split if he is forced to step aside.

More than 116 demonstrators have been killed in clashes with security forces since late January. There are also fears that the violence could escalate, as the majority of the country's 23 million people own guns.

Source: Xinhua

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