Sept. 18 - At least 20 protesters are killed in Yemen when security forces opened fire on demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A massive demonstration in Sanaa against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. They call for an end of his 33-year rule. Violence erupts. At least 20 protesters were killed and scores wounded when security forces opened fire on the crowds. Yemen's Defense Ministry website blamed the leading Islamist opposition party for opening fire on the march. One protester said his friend was killed. SOUNDBITE: Unnamed demonstrator, saying: (Arabic): "They opened fire on him (his friend Rajai). He didn't do anything, he didn't have anything in his hand. He was peaceful! He was shot for no reason. Wher are you Rajai? Where are you my friend?' Frustrated by Saleh's tenacity, protesters are seeking to ratchet up demonstrations, which have now dragged into their eighth month. Now the wounded are pouring into hospitals. Saleh, recovering in neighboring Saudi Arabia from a June assassination attempt, is holding onto power despite international pressure to quit and eight months of protests which have paralyzed the impoverished Arab state. The United States and Saudi Arabia fear unrest in Yemen will embolden al Qaeda's Yemen-based regional wing to launch strikes in the region and beyond. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters