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Yemen clashes spark concerns of all-out civil war

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Hani Mohammed/AP

(Read caption) A protestor with Yemen's flag painted on his face, center, shouts slogans with others as they march during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday. Yemeni medical officials say government troops have opened fire on protesters in the capital Sanaa, wounding at least 18 people, in an apparent escalation of crackdowns against opposition to the President who recently returned to the country from a period of convalescence.

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Violence continued to escalate in Yemen on Sunday as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to demand that President Ali Abdullah Saleh be removed from office and charged with crimes he committed during his presidency.

At least one protester was killed and another 14 injured by pro-government forces during the demonstrations. Sunday’s violence comes a day after as many as 50 people were killed by government forces in demonstrations, according to reports.

After spending three months in Saudi Arabia recuperating from a rocket attack, Mr. Saleh returned to Yemen on Friday. There was much speculation that Saudi officials would not allow Saleh to return unless he was committed to stepping down from power, but he appears to have returned without any such guarantees.

Now, with little indication that Saleh will step down and violence on the rise, there are renewed concerns that Yemen may be headed for an all out civil war. If the country continues in this direction, it will be of particular concern for Western nations worried about terrorist organizations who use Yemen as a safe haven.

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