52 dead and over 250 injured and its the predictable spin Saleh:
SABA: In the news conference, Interior Minister Mutahar al Masri highlighted the circumstances of the incidents saying that preliminary information had revealed that the sit-inners outside Sana’a University have been attempting to break in houses nearby the university forcing the owners to form popular committees to protect their properties and homes.
“After the Friday inciting sermon outside the university, the sit-inners headed to the inhabited areas near the university destroying the barriers built by the people to prevent the sit-inners from pitching more tents and violent clashes took place then,” said al Masri.
The idiot announced a ban on carrying weapons, forgetting there already is a ban on carrying weapons.
Also killed today, per CPJ. Jamal al-Sharaabi, a photographer for Al-Masdar. Resignations from GPC include Minister of Tourism, Alruhany Member of Shoura Council and former Minister of Agriculture Dr. Foukara resigns.
Amnesty International: “This appears to have been a sniper attack with security forces deliberately shooting to kill protesters from strategic vantage points,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Vids: Thugs on roofs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1ntzG-Xbeg
better shot of thugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbJK_MlvqM
unarmed protesters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifi2PbiLvK4
the injured and dead, many head shots, graphic:
12:49 pm EST President Obama issued a statement “strongly condemning” the violence in Yemen, urges Saleh to keep his pledge of non-violence toward protesters. At least its prompt and unequivocal regarding the violence, but he doesn’t call for Saleh to go but for everyone to engage in a consultation, but how do you negotiate with a murderer and a liar?
Statement by the President on violence in Yemen
I strongly condemn the violence that has taken place in Yemen today and call on President Saleh to adhere to his public pledge to allow demonstrations to take place peacefully. Those responsible for today’s violence must be held accountable. The United States stands for a set of universal rights, including the freedom of expression and assembly, as well as political change that meets the aspirations of the Yemeni people. It is more important than ever for all sides to participate in an open and transparent process that addresses the legitimate concerns of the Yemeni people, and provides a peaceful, orderly and democratic path to a stronger and more prosperous nation.
The “Revolutionary Youth” movement declares a nationwide strike tomorrow and that the state of emergency is unconstitutional and will be ignored.
Update: President Saleh declared a national state of emergency a few minutes ago. The provisions deny citizens the right to carry weapons as they are being gunned down in the streets. The Yemeni opposition party alliance JMP responded that Saleh has lost legitimacy to declare anything. Over 40 protesters were shot dead and 320 wounded in 20 minutes of continuous sniper fire into the crowd, Ch4News reports. Marib press reports that Saleh was on board the helicopter that was flying over the scene, watching the carnage. The US has consistently and strongly urged the protesters and opposition parties to engage in a dialog with the blood thirsty madman and believe the promises of a compulsive liar while setting benchmarks. The new ambassador seemed bewildered that no one believed Saleh’s latest set of lies about transferring power in a year.
Saleh was a war criminal long before these protests began in January. HRW and Amnesty urged a UN investigation of Yemen’s crimes against humanity in regard to the hundreds of protesters killed in south Yemen 2007-2010 and the carpet bombing of Saada that was accompanied by the denial of food and medical assistance from the international community as over 300,000 were displaced and starving to death. This could turn very ugly now.
Original: Over thirty were killed, including an eight year old, in what appears a pre-planned massacre. Rooftop snipers are shooting and head people in the chest. The police are standing by and watching as thugs beat unarmed protesters at Sanaa University’s al Tagheer Square.
There appears to be a large fire in the middle of the protesters who are all packed into the main street and side streets. (Its tires brought by the thugs and set to fire minutes before the shooting started. The police were deployed wearing gas masks.) Al Jazeera is also showing what may be the new Huey’s, delivered in early February for CT ops, flying over the crowd and the fire. Update: Russian copters. New reports say Saleh was in the helicopter overlooking the scene.
Reports are that the police are prohibiting ambulances from getting to two hospitals, a standard tactic for the Saleh regime. The clinic at the square is overwhelmed and can’t handle any more injuries. Graphic vid of the dead and wounded shows many head shots. Journalist Gamal Sharbi was just killed covering the clashes.
Tank are moving in on the protesters in Taiz and all entrances to the city are blocked, al Masdar. Security forces appear to be mobilizing in Aden. Reports of violence in Mukallah. There’s still gunfire in Sanaa.
A senior GPC official (Mohammad BaLahoom) accused a faction of the regime pre-planning the slaughter in Sanaa. One of the houses from which shooting came was that of the governor of Mahweet, Ahamad Ali Muhsin al-Ahwal. Protesters broke in and burnt it. The protesters broke the wall that was blocking new protesters from joining and the crowd is expanding. Protesters captured four thugs and two snipers carrying official papers.