Violence in Yemen showed no signs of stopping today after a weekend of clashes, prompting rising fears of a civil war. A field doctor says four protesters were killed today as gunfire and explosions shook Sanaa, and the New York Times reports that at least 17 people were killed over the weekend as pro-government forces shot unarmed protesters approaching government-controlled territory. A woman was shot in the head during a march—a rare occurrence, though not the first such attack recently.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh gave a speech yesterday slamming the West for what he called a skewed view of the protests. "The outside world treats this as if it is a peaceful revolution against a political regime," he said. Protesters have lately had the protection of defected army soldiers, a fact that the government has started to use to justify its violence. "How is it a peaceful march," Saleh asked, "when behind them is the power of a rebel military?" But a protest organizer says the defectors have only fired to protect demonstrators.