04/05/2011, 00.00
YEMEN – BAHRAIN

More deaths in Yemen as US ditches Saleh

Police kill two men in Hudaida during a demonstration to protest the killing of 15 people in Taiz yesterday. The Gulf Cooperation Council offers to mediate. Washington now views Saleh’s 33-year reign as a liability.
Sanaa (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Two people were killed overnight in the Yemeni port city of Hudaida during clashes between police and thousands of protesters. The demonstration had been organised to protest yesterday’s violence in Taiz in which 15 more demonstrators were killed. In both cases, police opened fire against people demanding an end to his 33-year reign of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Also yesterday, ministers from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) offered to mediate between Saleh and opposition groups.

The offer was made at a special meeting of the organisation in Riyadh, chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates.

On the diplomatic front, the United States also appears to be shifting its position. Washington has long backed Saleh, but has quietly told its allies that is now more of a liability and should go.

In Bahrain, soldiers and police from Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries continue to be deployed after arriving weeks ago to prevent the Shia majority from taking over from the ruling Sunnis.

Hundreds of people who took part in the protests have been fired, the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) reported.

The union’s general secretary, Salman Mahfoodh, appealed to Bahrain’s sovereign, King Isa al-Khalifa, to intervene to solve the matter.

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