Report: 10 killed in clashes in Yemen

Yemeni anti-government protesters take to the streets in the southern city of Taiz on July 22, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Medics: 32 others are wounded
  • Clashes have intensified in recent days
  • One medic says he can't reach the wounded because of fierce shelling

Government forces shelled southwestern Yemen on Friday, killing 10 people and injuring 32 others, medics said.

Fighting was ongoing in six areas in Taiz province, witnesses said.

Clashes have intensified in recent days as protesters demand the ouster of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Families started evacuating from the province over fears clashes will escalate in coming days.

Medical staff in Taiz's Freedom Square confirmed the death of six civilians.

"It's not fair. Why are the government killing innocent civilians? They are attacking our houses and killing our families," said Ali al-Radhmi, a resident of Taiz..

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"The shelling is nonstop and it seems as if President Saleh wants to completely destroy Taiz before he leaves power because it was the launching pad for protests against his regime."

    Medic Yasser al-Nusari said he's been unable to reach the square for more than two hours to treat the wounded because of the fierce shelling.

    "The government shelling has been nonstop since 5 a.m. The number of wounded will rise and many have not been able to reach the medical camp," he said Friday.

    A 8-year-old and a 3-year-old were among those killed in clashes, witnesses said.

    A senior security official in Taiz said an opposition group is targeting pro-government tribal leaders purposely and vowed to hold them accountable for the killings.

    "The opposition does not understand that the current government is still the legal government and wants to put matters into its own hands. This is why these clashes are taking place and innocent people are dying," said the official, who is not authorized to talk to media.

    The defense ministry also blamed opposition fighters for killing two pro-government tribal leaders in Taiz.

    Hundreds of thousands of youth protesters gathered for the weekly Friday march in Taiz calling on international powers to not give Saleh immunity for the killings of unarmed protesters.

    Anti-government marches are taking place in 14 of the country's 21 provinces Friday.

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