Clashes broke out in Yemen's Red Sea port of Hudaida on Monday, wounding at least 88 people as plainclothes police fired shots and teargas at protesters who responded by hurling stones, witnesses and doctors said.
Residents told Reuters that plainclothes police armed with bats, pistols and stones, attacked thousands of protesters who had marched into the streets outside the square where they have been camped for weeks in demonstrations calling for the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule.
"We're appealing for help in medical supplies as we're really suffering from a severe shortage ... the medical situation is really bad," said protester Abdul Jabar Zayed. "We have some friends missing and we think they were arrested, we are still making calculations but no specific number yet."
A first round of clashes hurt 15 people, two were shot and the others were beaten or hit with stones, doctors said, and protesters began to withdraw back to their camp.
But clashes erupted again as riot police fired shots and tear gas at a group of protesters, witnesses said. Protesters responded by marching out of their camp again, this time headed for Hudaida's main thoroughfare, residents told Reuters.
Five people were shot and 68 were beaten or were suffering from teargas inhalation, they said, and clashes were ongoing. Zayed told Reuters that protesters had built a roadblock to try to prevent police from getting closer to the demonstrations.
Tensions have run high in the Arabian Peninsula state, where one in two of its 23 million people owns a gun, as transition talks between the opposition and the government stall.
Protests in Yemen, inspired by uprisings that toppled Egypt and Tunisia's presidents, gather tens of thousands of people almost daily and have now run into their third month.
No breakthrough was reached at a meeting between opposition leaders and foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Saudi Arabia on Sunday night. The Gulf Arab states have offered to mediate between the opposition and the government.
But the opposition rejects such talks without guarantees of a quick handover of power and the removal of Saleh.
A GCC statement said on Sunday night the opposition agreed to continue talks with the foreign ministers, and opposition leaders were still in Riyadh on Monday morning. It said the ministers would meet separately with Saleh's representatives.
But a Yemeni government official told Reuters there was no word yet from the GCC on separate talks with Saleh aides.
"We have not yet received an official invitation, we are still waiting," he said.
Country is last in western Balkans to be recommended for travel liberalization
PM Cameron's government says unaccompanied child asylum-seekers 'will be resettled from Greece, Italy and France'
Huseyin Ozgurgun says his government supports reunification talks with Greek Cypriots
'It's going to take more to win. We're gonna win but we all need to do more,' Pentagon chief says
Saudi, Qatar, UAE and Turkey foreign ministers are due to travel to France to discuss situation in Syria
European Commission proposes to lift the visa requirements for Turkish citizens on condition that Ankara fulfils criteria set by the EU
'The defense ministry is taking a range of measures with the aim of countering the build-up of NATO forces in close proximity to Russia's borders,' defense minister says
On Tuesday night NATO has announced that it will allow Israel to open a permanent office at its headquarters in Brussels
Kenyan authorities have uncovered a terror cell Linked to ISIL that is suspected of plotting a “biological attack” on the East African nation and recruiting university students to Libya and Syria.
An Albanian court has sentenced nine defendants to jail sentences of up to 18 years on Tuesday for recruiting people to fight in Syria's civil war.
Agreement 'is continuing to fray, particularly in some areas in and around Aleppo', White House cautions
ISIL had briefly overtaken Tel Skuf in 2014, but town later fell back into hands of peshmerga forces
New data says Sub-Saharan region feeling effects of drought, commodity price shocks
ISIL militants killed a U.S. Navy SEAL in northern Iraq on Tuesday after blasting through Kurdish defenses and overrunning a town in the biggest offensive in the area for months, officials said.
'I hope that by the end of May, when we meet at the G7 summit, the implementation of Greece's programme is positively assessed,' EU president says
Republican front-runner Trump is expected to clinch party’s nomination in California primary in June