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» »Unlabelled » Medics: 5 killed, 24 hurt in shelling in Yemeni province

Medics: 5 killed, 24 hurt in shelling in Yemeni province

By Hakim Almasmari, For CNN
December 1, 2011 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Yemeni anti-government protesters march in Sanaa demanding the trial of Ali Abdullah Saleh on November 26, 2011.

(CNN) -- Shelling in the southern Yemeni province of Taiz killed five people and wounded 24 Thursday, medics said.

Residents blamed the attack on forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down last month after weeks of protests against his 33-year rule.

"The attacks were everywhere. The government does not care anymore if anyone dies. Every one who was killed or injured was a civilian and were not bearing arms," said resident Shareef al-Sabri.

The defense ministry did not comment when contacted.

Taiz residents have been among those who have been calling for Saleh's ouster. And many believed the attacks on the province are meant to crack down on the opposition.

Eyewitnesses said hundreds of additional troops have been deployed to Taiz. Security forces have set up checkpoints to control entry and exit into the province.

Saleh stepped down after he agreed to a Gulf-sponsored plan for transferring power, in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

The deal allows Saleh to retain the title of president for three months until elections are held, but requires him to hand over executive powers to Yemen's vice president.

On Saturday, Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued a presidential decree for presidential elections to be held on February 21, state media reported.

Saleh became the fourth leader to leave office as a result of the Arab Spring unrest that has roiled much of the Middle East and North Africa this year.

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