The uprising against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has turned particularly violent over the last ten days, as Saleh's troops clash with rival tribesmen in the capital, Sanaa, armed protesters in the southern city of Taiz, and Islamist militants in the coastal city of Zinjibar. In fact, according to Reuters, these ten days have witnessed at least 155 of the more than 370 uprising-related deaths over the last four months. That's 40 percent of the casualties in a little over a week (the photo above shows friends and relatives of slain tribal fighters during a funeral procession today).
In the latest escalation of violence, rockets struck a mosque in Saleh's palace in Sanaa on Friday, killing four guards and wounding Yemen's prime minister, his deputy, and the parliament speaker but inflicting only minor injuries on Saleh himself, a Western diplomat tells Reuters (Suhail, a private Yemeni TV station run by a member of the Ahmar family, with whom Saleh has been fighting this week, initially reported that the president died in the shelling). Yemeni officials, who tell the AP that Saleh has been taken to a hospital for treatment, blame the "assassination attempt" on tribal fighters loyal to the Ahmar family. The Ahmar family, in turn, says Saleh engineered the attack to justify more violence. Reuters adds that General Ali Mohsen, who defected to the opposition earlier this spring but has so far stayed on the sidelines, could also have spearheaded the assault. Saleh may address the nation shortly.
With the palace attack still steeped in mystery, amateur video from Yemen, which has been hard to find in recent days, is now circulating on YouTube. The footage highlighted by Al Jazeera epitomizes the current situation in Yemen: heavy violence alongside peaceful protests.This video, for example, shows shelling in a Sanaa neighborhood.
Another video, also shot in Sanaa, shows a mass anti-government protest that's similar--if thinner--to a giant one we highlighted in mid-May:
In Taiz, where protesters claim they've retaken "Freedom Square" from government troops, there's gripping footage of gunfire, explosions, and mayhem:
But there's also video of demonstrators peacefully chanting ""The people want to topple the regime!"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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