The United States has warned that Al-Qaeda could take advantage of a power vacuum in Yemen and said a timetable for transferring power from President Ali Abdullah Saleh should begin.
White House spokesman Jay Carney made the statement after more than 50 people have been killed during weeks of protests against Saleh, who has ruled the country for 32 years.
In the southern city of Taiz, Yemeni troops opened fire on crowds of protesters on April 4, killing at least 15 people. Marches in solidarity with protesters in Taiz erupted in several other cities.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the latest violence was "appalling," adding that the United States was talking to the government and the opposition in the hope of achieving "a peaceful solution."
Yemen has been a vital U.S. partner in cracking down on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
compiled form agency reports