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Troops Open Fire On Yemeni Protesters; At Least 12 Dead


Antigovernment protesters turned out in force at Friday Prayers during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President on April 1.
Yemeni troops have opened fire on crowds of protesters demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a southern city.

Medics and witnesses said at least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded.

It was the second straight day of clashes between security forces and protesters in the city of Taiz, south of the capital.

Marches in solidarity with protesters in Taiz erupted in several other cities today. In Hudaida, on Yemen's western Red Sea coast, activists said police opened fire with tear gas and live ammunition.

More than 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured during weeks of protests against President Ali Abdulah Saleh, who has ruled the country for 32 years.

"The New York Times" reports that the United States, in an apparent shift of policy, has begun privately advocating for Saleh to leave office. U.S. officials have not publicly criticized Saleh, who is seen as a key ally in U.S. efforts to fight terrorism.

compiled from agency reports