Yemen police open fire on protesters in Sanaa

Steadfast to their demands

SANAA - A Yemeni protester died of gunshot wounds Wednesday after being hit when police opened fire overnight on anti-regime demonstrators in Sanaa, a medical official said.
The protester was wounded when police fired live bullets and tear gas to disperse a students' demonstration outside Sanaa University late Tuesday. He later died of his wounds in hospital.
Three other demonstrators were also wounded by gunfire, while some 60 others were lightly hurt due to being beaten by police batons or inhaling tear gas, the official said.
A security official said meanwhile that 12 policemen were injured by rocks hurled by demonstrators.
Police had intervened to prevent protesters from erecting tents in a street close to the University Square, where demonstrators have been camping since February 21 in a protest demanding the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh -- in power for 32 years, an AFP correspondent said.
The police action was condemned Wednesday by the Common Forum, an alliance of parliamentary opposition groups.
"Even the medical teams coming to rescue the wounded were not spared the attacks," Common Forum spokesman Mohammed Qahtan said in a statement.
The alliance said it held "Saleh personally accountable for the crime committed by the central security and the republican guard against the students."
The police action came after the opposition vowed Sunday to step up protests against Saleh's regime when the embattled leader refused an ultimatum to resign by the end of the year and vowed to serve out his current mandate until 2013.
An official close to Saleh said at the weekend the opposition transition plan was "vague and contradictory."
On Tuesday, Yemen tightened security measures in Sanaa, deploying its forces around vital installations and banks.