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YEMEN: Soldiers open fire on protesters, killing four

March 4, 2011 | 12:48 pm

Yemen At least four people were killed and seven wounded when Yemeni soldiers armed with heavy machine-guns opened fire on protesters throwing rocks at their army post in the northern town of Harf Sofyan, the Associated Press reported.

A witness, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal, said the soldiers apparently thought the protesters were trying to attack the post.

Tens of thousands of people rallied Friday in several cities across Yemen,  including the capital, Sana, calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh, a U.S. ally, has promised to step down after national elections in 2013, an offer rejected by the opposition.

Friday's protests included hundreds of women, filling a square and nearby streets. The main speaker during prayers at Sana University, Yahia Hussein Deilami, told the gathering that “deposing a tyrant is a religious duty,” AP reported.

In the southern port city of Aden, tens of thousands of people carried the coffins of three people killed in protests last week, AP reported.

—  Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Protesters rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern city of Taiz. Saleh rejected an opposition plan for him to transfer power this year. Credit: Reuters

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