Monday, April 18, 2011

Yemen Opposition Turns Down Gulf Plan as Police Fire on Crowd

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Yemen's opposition coalition rejected a plan by six Gulf states to end unrest in the Arabian country, saying that the swift departure of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh isn't negotiable.

Before talks began in Riyadh yesterday, police in Yemen used live ammunition, tear gas and water cannon to disperse tens of thousands of protesters marching in the capital, Sana'a, injuring at least 100, according to Abdulmalik al-Yusufi, a doctor at a field clinic along the protest route.

Thirty more protesters were wounded in live fire attacks by armed government supporters in the city of Thamad, the online opposition publication al-Masdar reported.

"We are sticking to our position," Mohammed Salem Basendwah, head of the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, told reporters in Riyadh after the meeting. Yemen's six-party opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Parties, wants Saleh to step down immediately.

Protests in Yemen calling for an end to Saleh's rule are entering their third month. The Gulf Cooperation Council, which joins the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, wants the opposition to let Saleh hand power to his Vice President Abduraboo Mansur Hadi.


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