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Three protesters shot dead in Yemen

One protester is shot dead by a sniper during an attack on an anti-government camp in the Yemeni capital, raising the death toll to three as hundreds more have been injured.

Witnesses say police fired live rounds and teargas to invade the camp at dawn, adding that the security forces were also carrying knives and charged the protesters with batons, AFP reported.

So far, two deaths have been confirmed in the capital and one in the southeastern city of Mukalla. More than 30 protesters have been shot, with others suffering from loss of consciousness and spasms from breathing in poisonous gas, which medics have not been able to identify.

“This isn’t teargas. This is poison gas that disables the nervous and respiratory systems. People hit by this gas pass out,” Dr. Hussein al-Joshaai, a nerve specialist at the scene, told AFP.

Reports say clashes are still continuing. Security forces have blocked all roads leading to the square, preventing ambulances from evacuating the casualties.

The protesters, who demand an end to President Ali Abduallah Saleh’s 32-year rule, have been camping out at University Square in Sana’a since February 21.

Meanwhile, Yemeni police have shot dead a schoolboy in anti-regime protests in Mukalla. Hundreds of school students had poured to streets on Saturday, when riot police fired live bullets to disperse them.

On Friday, thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of Sana’a and the southern city Aden. Two people were killed and over a dozen wounded after police opened fired on the protesters in Aden.

Saleh has promised a new constitution which would shift power from the presidency to an elected parliament. Protesters say that the offer is not enough, vowing to continue to demonstrate until he resigns.

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