Troops kill protester in south Yemen

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Yemen's security forces opened fire Wednesday on anti-regime protesters in the city of Taez killing one and wounding five, medics said, as Gulf states urged Yemenis to press on with a transition plan

Anti-government protesters shout slogans near burning tyres during a demonstration to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern city of Taez, Wednesday, (Reuters).

The death of one Yemeni protester on Wednesdaybrought to six the number of protesters killed since Sunday by security forces at Taez, located 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of the capital, according to a tally by medics.

Witnesses said thousands of anti-regime protesters marched towards the Yemen Petroleum Company and locked its gate using chains and put up a banner there saying:"Shut by the people."

The protesters also forced the closure of several government offices in the city.

Teachers demanding better pay and postponement of final exams have for days been staging a sit-in outside the regional ministry of education offices in Taez and were joined by hundreds of anti-regime protesters.

Taez, the second largest city in the impoverished Arabian peninsula country, has become a focal point of protests demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power since 1978.

The latest killing came as the Gulf Cooperation Council urged after a summit in Riyadh Tuesday that all parties in Yemen should sign up to a transition plan aimed at ending months of political bloodshed in the country.

"The council urged all parties in Yemen to sign the agreement, which is the best way out of the crisis, and spare the country further political division and deterioration of security," GCC leaders said in a statement Tuesday night.

GCC heads of state had discussed the bloc's mediation efforts in Yemen which stalled in the face of veteran Saleh's refusal to sign up to proposals that would require him to stand down within a month.

Embattled Saleh has been insisting that any transfer of power should be in line with the constitution, which would allow him to serve out his term until 2013.

The GCC plan proposes the formation of a government of national unity, Saleh transferring power to his vice president and resigning after 30 days, a day after parliament passes a law granting him and his aides immunity.

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani travelled to Sanaa last week to invite members of the government and the opposition to sign the transition plan in Riyadh and to obtain the president's signature but he returned empty-handed.

More than 150 people have been killed in anti-government protests since late January.

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