3 soldiers killed in Yemen anti-gov't protests

Christians in Egypt suspend protests after week; 42 killed in south Sudan clashes.

By OREN KESSLER, REUTERS
March 14, 2011 23:35
2 minute read.
Protests in Yemen

Yemen Protests 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

Three military personnel were killed and at least 60 people wounded in confrontations around Yemen on Monday between security forces and protesters, and attackers reportedly stabbed a provincial governor in the neck with a dagger.

A month of protests set in motion by the tumult sweeping the Arab world appears to be spiraling out of control in Yemen, already one of the most impoverished and volatile corners of the Arab world, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled for 32 years.

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Two soldiers and an officer were killed as clashes broke out in the northern al-Jawf province, which borders oil giant Saudi Arabia, AP reported, quoting Yemen’s state news agency Saba. In the eastern Marib province, a predominantly tribal area, protesters staged a large demonstration outside the local government building and shouted anti-regime slogans.

Security troops fired live ammunition and tear gas, injuring around 37 people.

In the melee, a group of men stabbed Governor Naji al-Zaidi and four bodyguards with daggers, the Interior Ministry said.

Also Monday, two American and two British journalists were deported from the country after being detained for several hours, one of them said. Yemeni security officials told AP they had been detained for illegally entering the country, without elaborating.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

In Egypt, Christian protesters said on Monday they would suspend more than a week of protests that were sparked by the burning of a church in the mostly Muslim country, the official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.

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Thousands of Christians have been protesting since March 5 in front of the state television building after the torching of a church in Helwan, on the outskirts of Cairo, over a row started by a romance between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.

The case has fueled sectarian clashes that Health Ministry reports said killed 13 people and wounded 140 others, posing an early test for Egypt’s new military rulers as they seek to reestablish order after weeks of political turmoil.

In south Sudan – set to be the Middle East’s newest state after an independence referendum – more than 100 orphans were caught in the middle of gunfire in an attack on the capital of the region’s oil-producing Upper Nile state that killed more than 42 combatants.

Renegade fighters attacked Malakal on Saturday in the latest violence to stoke fears for the stability of the south ahead of its independence from the north, due to take place on July 9.


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