Students wounded in Yemen clashes

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Sanaa, Feb 19 (AFP) A number of students were shotand wounded today in clashes with Yemeni government supportersnear Sanaa''s university, with the interior ministry denyinginitial reports that one had been killed.

"A number of demonstrators were wounded... but onlyfour remain in hospital," an unnamed ministry official said onthe ministry''s Sep26.net news website, adding that there wereno deaths.

Earlier, an AFP correspondent had said oneprotester was shot dead and five wounded in the clashes afterhe had seen the body of the student, hit by a bullet.

The shootings came as government supporters, armedwith guns, batons and rocks, tried to break into the campusand students responded by hurling stones.

Tribesmen and plain-clothes police also attackedthe students during the clashes, the AFP correspondent said,adding that police did not intervene but blocked roads leadingto the campus.

Later, supporters of President Ali Abdullah Salehdispersed the protesters and took control of the area aroundthe university campus and surrounding roads, the correspondentsaid.

On Friday, at least four anti-regime protesterswere wounded by Saleh supporters, who attacked thedemonstration armed with batons and axes.

Students have tried for the past week to march onthe presidential palace but have been intercepted each day bystone-throwing regime supporters.

Protests continued early today in the main southerncity of Aden, where fierce clashes the previous day killedfour people and injured 17, five of them soldiers, accordingto medics and witnesses.

Demonstrations took place in the neighbourhoods ofKhor Maksar, Al-Mansura, Sheikh Osman and in Dar Saed, wheresecurity forces detained eight people, as well as in Mualla,the sources said.

"The ruling party are killers" and "No south, nonorth -- our revolt is for the youth," chanted the protesters.

Late yesterday, 50 members of the ruling GeneralPeople''s Congress (GPC) resigned from the party in protestagainst attacks by security forces on protesters, which haveleft 10 people dead in Aden since last Sunday.

In Taez, south of Sanaa, where protests have alsoraged for a week, hundreds of anti-regime protesters weretargeted in a hand grenade attack yesterday that killed oneperson and wounded 47, according to medics.

Today, local officials told AFP that theauthorities have detained eight officials accused of links tothe Friday attacks.

US President Barack Obama condemned the use offorce against protesters in Yemen, Bahrain and Libya aftergovernment forces brutally sought to crush the latest wave ofMiddle East violence. (AFP)

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