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Yemen violence erupts after months of stalemate (video)

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On Sunday, protesters marched toward the presidential palace, breaking through the security forces' line and prompting battles in the street that killed 26 and wounded dozens, the Associated Press reports. Today, snipers on rooftops surrounding Change Square fired on the protesters there, killing at least eight, according to another AP report. Rocket-propelled grenades also appear to have been used against some protesters, according to multiple news reports.

Despite the violence, protest leaders in the square urged another forward advance today, Reuters reports. However, in an apparent bid to defuse the violence, a general who this spring defected to the protesters' side – Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar – blocked the advance.

With Sunday's gains, the protesters and Gen. Ahmar's troops are closing in on the elite unit commanded by Ahmed Ali Saleh, President Saleh's eldest son. The city has been tensely divided between government troops and those behind Ahmar for months, poised to explode into confrontation once again, as it did earlier in the uprising. According to the Guardian, the number of government troops out on the streets has increased in recent days.

Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is expected to sign the Gulf deal on Saleh's behalf within days, Al Jazeera reported.

"Within a week, the vice-president will sign the Gulf Initiative in the name of the president," a high-ranking Saudi official, who requested anonymity, told reporters.

... According to the Saudi official, "among the guarantees demanded by Saleh are that his son be kept in the next government."

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