x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Three killed in protest by Yemeni teachers after troops open fire

Security forces use tear gas and live ammunition against demonstration in Taiz demanding delay to exams.

An anti-government protester flees as police use a water cannon to disperse protesters demanding the departure of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh  in the southern city of Taiz yesterday.
An anti-government protester flees as police use a water cannon to disperse protesters demanding the departure of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern city of Taiz yesterday.

SANA'A // Yemen's security forces fired tear gas and live rounds yesterday to break up a demonstration in Taiz, killing three protesters and injuring dozens.

The security forces moved to end a sit-in blocking the main road in the city, witnesses said. A medical official said one person was killed and dozens injured.

Two other demonstrators were later shot dead in further clashes, witnesses and medics said.

Sadeq al Shujaa, chief of a field clinic set up by volunteers to care for protesters at the sit-in site, called Freedom Square, said more than 60 people were wounded by bullets, including 10 who were in a critical condition. He also said more than 300 others inhaled the tear gas.

Police and army forces backed by tanks and armoured vehicles stormed a demonstration by thousands of mainly teachers who gathered in front of the education office in Taiz to demand postponement of final exams for students. They were also pressing for pay rises and protesting against penalties imposed on them for being on strike, said witnesses.

"What happened is unusual as armoured vehicles chased the youths in side streets, alleys and even houses. Hundreds of activists were arrested in the manhunt," said Salah al Dakak, a protest activist. He said clashes continued for more than seven hours.

In the city of Hodiedah, five university students were wounded with bullets and batons yesterday and more than 10 others suffered from tear-gas inhalation after police stormed the Hodiedah University campus to disperse a protest there, said Abdulhafiz Mujib, a protest activist.

Elsewhere in the country, protesters were out in Thamar, Ibb and al Baidah provinces yesterday to denounce violence and demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

On Saturday, security forces shot dead two students at a demonstration in Al Maafar, Taiz province, demanding a postponement of exams as courses have been interrupted by strikes.

The protest organisers have called for massive protests today to denounce violence in Taiz and the Gulf Co-operation Council's peace plan.

Yemen's main opposition group, the Joint Meeting Parties, has warned that the GCC plan could be withdrawn unless Mr Saleh agrees to it soon.

It requires Mr Saleh to resign 30 days after signing the deal. He has refused to do so in his capacity as a head of the state. But he said he would sign as the chief of the ruling party, an offer rejected by the opposition.

malqadhi@thenational.ae