Babylon & Beyond

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YEMEN: Hand grenade kills protester as clashes intensify

February 18, 2011 |  6:53 am

Unrest continued to spread across Yemen on Friday as government supporters, angered by an eighth day of demonstrations demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down, invaded the opposition rallies and setting off riots in several cities.

Three people have been killed in the protests ignited by widespread poverty and alleged government corruption, including an anti-government demonstrator killed Friday when a hand grenade was thrown into a crowd in the city of Taiz, the Al Jazeera news network reported.

In the southern port city of Aden, rioting injured 17 people and left at least one government building in flames, the news agency reported. 

Spurred by the success of pro-democracy activists in toppling leaderships in Tunisia and Egypt, protesters in Yemen have intensified their marches and gatherings to demand that Saleh step down after 32 years. The president promised not to seek reelection in 2013, but the protesters continued to demand his ouster in the second "Friday of Fury" staged in the capital, Sana, and elsewhere.

A rival crowd of about 10,000 demonstrated in support of Saleh, Al Jazeera reported, unleashing confrontations between supporters and opponents of the regime.

--Carol J. Williams