Yemeni president declares state of emergency

Updated: 2011-03-19 08:27


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SANAA - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh declared a state of emergency in his country on Friday following the unrest in the capital that claimed the lives of at least 41 anti-government protestors, the Defense Ministry's website reported.

The declaration came in a meeting with the country's higher National Defense Council, in which the president expressed his deep regret over the shooting on the protestors after Friday's prayers, an official at the ministry's website told Xinhua.

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Saleh also directed security authorities to impose a curfew only on people who carry firearms and ordered authorities to confiscate their weapons.

"What happened today in the 'change square' outside Sanaa University had no links to the policemen. The shooting took place between the owner of houses, who always complained that they were annoyed by protestors, and the protestors," the official quoted President Saleh as saying.

Saleh also directed the security authorities to protect the anti-government demonstrations and ordered an independent investigation into Friday's shooting.

According to the latest statistics, the death toll from police shooting against anti-government protestors rose to at least 41, including a child, meanwhile, more than 200 others were injured in the Yemeni capital following Friday's prayer, where around 200,000 protestors gathered to repeat demands of ending the 33-year rule of President Saleh.

The statistics showed that as many as 34 protestors were confirmed dead in the makeshift hospital in the Sanaa sit-in and the other seven were confirmed dead in the Technology and Science Hospital, 5 km east of the sit-in.

Mohamed al-Sabri, a spokesman of the opposition coalition, told Xinhua that "after today's massacre, there will definitely be no future conciliation talks with President Saleh."


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