Eleven killed as security forces shell city in Yemen


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The Independent Online

Yemeni security forces fired tank and artillery shells at the restive central city of Taiz yesterday, killing 11 people, including three women and a nine-year-old boy, a medical official said.

Violence has escalated in the Arab world's poorest country, after nearly nine months of an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, pictured right, who has ruled for 33 years.

Taiz, about 120 miles south of the capital, Sanaa, is Yemen's second biggest city and has been a hotbed of anti-Saleh protests.

The latest fighting began during protests on Thursday, when one person was killed and several others were injured. Security forces then began shelling two residential districts during the night, which had been at the centre of the protests.

International diplomacy has failed to stop the crisis, with Mr Saleh repeatedly refusing to sign a US-backed proposal by Yemen's Gulf neighbours to end the conflict. A UN envoy, Jamal Benomar, arrived in Sanaa on Thursday and has been meeting government and opposition figures to press for an end to the violence.