Yemen government officials confirmed on Sunday that over 2,000 people were killed in the nation’s year-long political uprising which led to the ousting of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The nation’s ministry of Human Rights reported that the 2,000 or more casualties include armed fighters, civilians and 120 children that were felled in the spate of violent protests and nationwide clashes.
It also confirmed that some 22,000 individuals were injured in the fighting. The numbers that were revealed as crowds of protesters marked one year since the start of the battle to dethrone long-term leader Saleh.
The figures proved to be much higher than what international organisations had estimated. Earlier this year, London-based human rights group Amnesty International, put the number of protesters killed in the uprising at 200.
For almost one year, armed men in plain clothes loyal to Saleh had taken to the streets, systematically wiping out anti-government protesters.
After much negotiation, Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down last month, accepting an internationally backed deal that exempted him from prosecution, provided he hand over power to his vice.
Despite the terms of the deal, protesters today still called for the arrest and prosecution of Saleh as they remembered the 50 protesters killed last year by snipers loyal to ousted leader.
Violence still roams the streets of Yemen, despite the end of the infighting. Two gunmen on motorcycle shot and killed an American teacher working at the language institute in Taiz city, a government official confirmed.
The teacher, Hamoud al-Sufi had been gunned down in his car, but officials were not clear who the killers might be.
Security officials also claimed that a Swiss research had been kidnapped by tribesmen. She had been abducted in the western city of Hodeida.
Tribesmen deny having a hand in her kidnapping, blaming militants instead. Kidnappings had been common in Yemen even before the conflict, but the year-long war has taken an added toll on the nation’s tenuous security, making matters even worse.