Yemen Declares State of Emergency After Bloody Protest

At least thirty people were killed during protests on Friday

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Security forces and government supporters cracked down on tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators on Friday in the Yemeni capital, Sana, after Muslim midday prayers, killing at least 30 people and wounding hundreds in Yemen's largest protest yet, according to The New York Times. Al Jazeera reports that many protesters were shot in the head and neck and that most of those wounded were shot with live ammunition. An opposition spokesman called the violence a "massacre."

Yemen's security forces--which in previous clashes have tended to use tear gas on protesters or fire into the air--are increasingly adopting more violent methods, the Times notes. And, as Bahrain did only days ago, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has now declared a state of emergency in the country and barred Yemen's citizens--who, according to the Times, are among the most heavily armed in the Arab world--from carrying weapons, according to Al Arabiya.

Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for over three decades and served as an ally to the U.S. in its fight against terrorism, has said he won't run for a new term in 2013 and has offered to delegate some powers to Parliament, but mistrustful protesters have rejected his concessions and say they'll settle for nothing short of his ouster.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.