By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press Ahmed Al-haj, Associated Press – Fri Feb 18, 1:12 pm ET
SANAA, Yemen – Anti–government demonstrators clashed with supporters of Yemen’s longtime ruler and riot police, who fired tear gas and gunshots to disperse the crowd on what organizers called a nationwide "Friday of Rage". Three people were killed by police in the port of Aden and 48 were wounded in the southern city of Taiz when someone threw what appeared to be a hand grenade into a crowd, witnesses said.
It was the ninth straight day of protests in Yemen inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Demonstrators are calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh – – a key U.S. ally in fighting al–Qaida terrorists – – who has ruled the country for 32 years.
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the reported violence in response to protests in Yemen, as well as Bahrain and Libya, he urged those governments to respect the rights of peacefully demonstrating citizens, and he expressed condolences to the families of those killed.