Yemen sees fresh clashes as mediation fails

Protests in Ibb on September 19 against the deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Sanaa.

Story highlights

  • One person dies when an airstrike hits a residence
  • At least four other people are killed and dozens are wounded, medics say
  • Yemen has faced months of demonstrations against the president
  • A regional effort at peacemaking ends without result
Government security forces fired on protesters in Yemen's capital Thursday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens, medical sources at a hospital near the city's Change Square said.
In addition, a fifth person died when an airstrike hit the residence of opposition leader Himyar Ahmed, the deputy speaker of parliament, according to eyewitnesses. The person killed was a supporter, the witnesses said, and 13 others were injured.
Sniper bullets killed four people in the square, according to a senior medical staffer at the Change Square field hospital who asked not to be identified for security reasons. The square has been the center of months of demonstrations against longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The four included two women who were shot in the square earlier, five witnesses said.
Nine other protesters were shot by Republican Guard forces using artillery outside the square, with three of the injured in critical condition, medics on the scene said.
The government did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment.
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The violence came a day after funerals were held for 30 people killed in protests this week.
Senior members of the opposition were among more than 500,000 opposition supporters to attend the funerals, witnesses said.
At least 87 protesters were killed from Sunday to Wednesday, opposition sources said, and organizations including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International pleaded for calm.
Yemen has been convulsed by months of demonstrations against Saleh.
A regional envoy's effort at mediation ended Wednesday with no clear result.
Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdul Latif al-Zayyani left Yemen Wednesday, failing to convince the ruling General People Congress party to sign a GCC proposal to transfer power.
The umbrella opposition group the Joint Meeting Parties refused to officially meet al-Zayyani for dialogue, saying that the ball is in the government's court and that the JMP has already agreed and signed the proposal.
"We did everything asked from us and any dialogue will only stall more time for this oppressive regime," said Mohammed Qahtan, the spokesman for the JMP.
"The GCC is not being fair when dealing with the Yemen crisis. It needs to tell the wrongdoer that he is wrong and save the country from further deaths and catastrophes," Qahtan added.