At least three people were killed after Yemeni security forces opened fire at anti-government protesters who have gathered in Sanaa in their continuing call for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down from power.
"The Sanaa protest turned violent when security forces opened fire, lobbed tear gas canisters, and stun grenades at the protesters as they tried to make their way to the capital's main thoroughfare. The protesters replied by throwing stones", washingtontimes.com reports.
Thousands of protesters in the city of Taiz who were demanding the resignation of the president were also reportedly fired at by government security forces.
Earlier this month at least four people were killed in the city of Taiz
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been trying to find solution to the deteriorating peace situation in Yemen but no concrete result has been achieved so far.
"The U.N. Security Council met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss the situation in Yemen for the first time, a sign of growing global concern about the situation. Council diplomats said the briefing, by U.N. political chief B. Lynn Pascoe, was requested by the GCC", the report added.
“We are very concerned about the situation in Yemen,” German Ambassador Peter Wittig said as he headed into the meeting. Wittig said the council’s discussion “sends out a good signal” and “supports the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council to alleviate the tensions and find a solution to the Yemeni crisis.”
"The country's opposition, inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, says nothing short of Saleh's immediate departure would end the unrest", BBC News reports.
In response to the continuing demand by protesters for his resignation, President Saleh said he will no longer seek reelection but will finish his term until 2013 which was rejected by protesters.
In an effort to appease the protesters, Saleh fired his entire cabinet in last March 20 but asked them to remain as caretaker of their offices while a new set of members are put in place.
"Saleh's camp has been hit by a wave of defections and resignations since late March when security forces shot dead more than 40 demonstrators during a protest in Sanaa. The defectors have also included key allies in the military, powerful tribes, ambassadors, provincial governors and some managers of the state-run media", seattle.pi.com reports.
The poorest country in the Arab world, Yemen is struggling to cope with armed rebellion in the north and continuing protest in Sanaa and other key cities. Government is also confronted with the secessionist movement in the south.