Protest organizers reported on Monday that Yemeni forces have killed at least 50 demonstrators in Taizz, according to wire and broadcast reports.
The reports also indicate that government forces set protest camps at Freedom Square on fire as well, injuring scores of protesters in the process.
Witnesses said Yemeni Republican Guard forces, backed by tanks, moved in during the early hours of Monday to disperse demonstrators at the square.
Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for near daily demonstrations in Yemen’s major cities since late January, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment as well as demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been ruling the country since 1978.
Observers believe that Saleh is trying to spread fear that Yemen will plunge into chaos without him.
On May 23, clashes broke out between Yemeni security forces and members of the country’s powerful Hashid tribe in capital Sana’a.
Scores of tribesmen and regime forces have been killed in clashes that took place following Saleh’s refusal to sign a power transition deal brokered by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council. Some reports have put casualty figures in recent clashes at well over a hundred.