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State of Emergency Declared In Yemen, At Least 40 Killed

WATCH: At least 40 people were killed after security forces opened fire on protesters. Viewer discretion advised. (Video by Reuters)

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has declared a state of emergency in Yemen, as government forces opened fire on antigovernment protesters in the capital, Sanaa, killing and injuring many.

Medical officials and witnesses said at least 40 people in a large crowd of protesters were shot dead by snipers posted on rooftops in the center of Sanaa. Some of the snipers were reportedly apprehended by furious protesters, and thrown from the rooftops.

Witnesses said government forces and government loyalists started shooting at the protesters as demonstrators gathered at a square outside Sanaa University after Friday Prayers.

Protesters have camped out in Sanaa and other cities for over a month to demand Saleh step down after 32 years in power.

The protests were inspired by popular uprisings that toppled the longtime autocratic leaders of Tunisia and Egypt.

compiled from agency reports