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Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of Sana’a and Taiz to denounce the death of almost 50 people in two days of clashes with government forces.
Eighteen people were killed and 54 wounded in an attack that began yesterday by forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh on a protest camp in the center of the capital, said Mohammed al-Abahi, head of the field clinic at the camp. At least seven people were injured today in clashes in Sana’a, as protesters voiced anger over Saleh’s return to the country.
Saleh returned to Yemen on Sept. 23 after spending more than three months in Saudi Arabia recovering from injuries from an attack on his compound in June. He called for a truce and a cease-fire and proposed dialogue to end eight months of protests inspired by revolts that ousted the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt.
Shelling of the headquarters of the First Armored Division, which backs the protesters, left 11 soldiers dead and 112 wounded, a spokesman for General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar said yesterday. Fighting elsewhere in the city left another 18 dead and 35 wounded, Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, chief of the Hashid tribal confederation, said in a statement today.
Yemeni authorities “appeared to have lost effective control of parts of the country and within the major cities,” the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report last week. It warned that Yemen faced civil war.
Saleh ordered the removal of all blockades, checkpoints and barricades in Yemen and called for all army and security forces to return to their barracks, state-run Saba news agency reported. Military tanks and security forces remained on the streets of Sana’a and Taiz today.
--With assistance from Vivian Salama in Dubai. Editors: James Kraus, Ben Holland
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