Five killed as Yemen ceasefire agreement lasts one day

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Snipers and shelling killed at least five people in the capital Sanaa yesterday, violating a ceasefire agreed a day earlier to prevent a spiral into civil war over President Ali Abdullah Saleh's refusal to cede power after months of popular protests.

Four people were killed by snipers in two incidents near Change Square, where protesters have camped for eight months demanding an end to Mr Saleh's 33-year rule. A fifth died when a mortar bomb struck the camp. The killings raised the death toll to 75 in four days of bloodshed.

The two sides had effectively divided Sanaa between themselves since the unrest began but protesters losing patience after months of political deadlock tipped the balance of power on Sunday by marching into territory controlled by pro-Saleh troops. They were met with heavy gunfire.

Tens of thousands of people laid out prayer mats on a main road in Sanaa yesterday to mourn the dead, whose bodies were carried through the crowds wrapped in flags and strewn with leaves.