Yemen Opposition Calls Protests, Defies Gov´t

Sanaa, May 18 (Prensa Latina) The Yemeni opposition on Wednesday announced further protests to demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, despite government warnings following violence in Dhamar and rumors of seditious soldiers.

Activists who have been organizing demonstrations since January have stepped up their actions demanding Saleh´s immediate and unconditional resignation, after the failure of a plan proposed by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council.

What is known as the “Plaza for Change” continues to be occupied by Saleh opponents, who shouted anti-government slogans, blaming the president for the repression of demonstrators that has resulted in hundreds of dead and wounded, various sources reported.

The Interior Ministry warned of consequences for those who attack government or private property, or who endanger the lives of public security agents.

An Interior Ministry press release held the Common Encounter coalition responsible for “any potential repercussions resulting from illegal actions or prohibited mobilizations.”

At least 12 people were injured in Dhamar for injuries from shots apparently fired from a building belonging to the Islah Party by Common Encounter activisits against a march by Saleh supporters who were asking for respect for constitutional legitimacy and against pressures for him to resign.

The official version is that the anti-government forces opened fire on the march, denying that sympathizers of the ruling General Congress Party attacked civilians who had gathered in downtown Dhamar.

Military sources also denied reports by the Suhail satellite network and Al-Jazeera that Republican Guard and Special Forces soldiers engaged in sedition and joined government opponents in the Plaza of Change.

According to the official version, children of the late Islamic leader of the Al-Ahmar clan joined with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and government opponents to buy military and police uniforms and paint their faces to pass themselves off as deserters.

Authorities said calm had been restored in the southern city of Taiz after weeks of chaos and protests, and it was reported that two soldiers and a civilian were killed in an attack attributed to Al-Qaeda in Mukalla, capital of Hadhramaout province.

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