At least 15 protesters shot dead in Yemen, say medics

YEMENI security forces shot dead 15 anti-regime demonstrators and wounded scores more on the second day of lethal clashes in Taiz, south of the capital, medics said.

“The death toll has gone up to 15,” said Sadeq al-Shujaa, head of a makeshift field hospital at a square in central Taiz.

The bloodshed came as demonstrators staged a march on the governorate headquarters in the city about 200km from the capital Sanaa to demand the ousting of Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Witnesses said the demonstrators stormed the courtyard of the governorate and that plainclothes gunmen opened fire in an attempt to push them back.

The bloodshed, a day after another protester was shot dead in Taiz, sent the death toll to more than 100 in a crackdown on protests in the impoverished Arabian peninsula state since late January.

In a similar confrontation, 13 people were shot and wounded late on Sunday as police clashed with tens of thousands of demonstrators in the western city of Hudaydah, according to witnesses.

Police opened fire as the protesters marched on to the Red Sea city’s main local government building, the witnesses said.

Thirteen were wounded by live bullets, another 30 by batons and pebbles, while 400 others suffered from the effects of tear gas inhalation, according to the witness account.

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