26 Protesters Killed When Yemeni Forces Open Fire Government forces in Yemen opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters in the capital Sanaa Sunday — killing dozens. Freelance journalist Tom Finn in the Yemeni capital Sanaa tells David Greene troops used anti-aircraft guns and automatic weapons on the crowd.
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26 Protesters Killed When Yemeni Forces Open Fire

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26 Protesters Killed When Yemeni Forces Open Fire

26 Protesters Killed When Yemeni Forces Open Fire

26 Protesters Killed When Yemeni Forces Open Fire

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140590423/140532901" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Government forces in Yemen opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters in the capital Sanaa Sunday — killing dozens. Freelance journalist Tom Finn in the Yemeni capital Sanaa tells David Greene troops used anti-aircraft guns and automatic weapons on the crowd.

DAVID GREENE, Host:

Tom, good morning.

TOM FINN: Good morning.

GREENE: Can you tell us exactly where you are and what you're seeing?

FINN: It's really chaotic and gruesome scenes in here. There's blood on the floor and on the walls. And just about five minutes ago a doctor ran into the room clutching a tiny little child who'd been shot in the head. I've just talked to a nurse, who said that the child was in the back of a car and that a stray bullet had come through the car window and hit the child in the head.

GREENE: Tom, did the nurse say anything about the hopes for that small child to survive?

FINN: And it seems as if the violence is set to continue here. Protestors seem to be undeterred by the violence that took place last night. And there are calls for more marches both in Sanaa and across the country later this afternoon.

GREENE: Can you tell us anything about why the security forces might've opened fire on the protestors?

FINN: So what happened yesterday was a huge march. And the protestors were running and many of them had (unintelligible) and stones(ph) . And many of them seemed to anticipate that the clashes were going to happen yesterday. So I think the security forces were just completely overwhelmed by this number of protestors. And clearly the security forces decided they did want to let the protestors get into the center of Sanaa.

GREENE: Tom, you mentioned stalemate. This has been going on for months. There have been stages where it appeared that the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was prepared to perhaps leave power. We know he's in exile now in Saudi Arabia. Have we heard anything from him during this fresh violence about potentially stepping down?

FINN: The negotiations going on at the elite level with the Gulf monarchies and the U.N. and the U.S. seem very distant from on the ground here in Sanaa. People are saying that President Saleh stepping down and a president's elections are not enough. A lot of the protestors here want his whole family to be removed from power. So you know, there's a lot of demand which has yet to be met here in Yemen.

GREENE: Thank you, Tom.

FINN: Thank you.

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