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Yemen forces opens fire on protesters

Yemen opens fire

A huge demonstration against Yemen’s government turned into a killing field Friday as sniper’s on rooftop fired down on protesters as police made a wall of fire with tires and gasoline, blocking a key escape route.

At least 46 were killed, including some children, in an attack that marked a new level of brutality in President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s crackdown on dissent. Medical officials and witnesses said hundreds were wounded. Saleh, fighting to maintain his 32-year grip on power in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, said the deaths had occurred in clashes against demonstrators and other citizens at a protest encampment at Sana University.

"I express my extreme sorrow for what happened today after Friday prayers in the university district, the police did not open fire. It is clear there are armed elements inside these tents and they are the ones who opened fire," Saleh told a news conference in Sanaa, blaming gunmen among the protesters for the violence.