At least 15 demonstrators were killed by Yemen security forces in the southern city of Taiz on Monday, Reuters reported.

Yemeni soldiers opened fire on protesters in the southern city of Taiz on Sunday, hospital sources told Reuters.

The hospital sources said that the forces loyal to President Abdullah Sale fired bullets on protesters who want President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. About 200 people were hurt when the security forces fired tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Four soldiers were killed and dozens were injured as they were travelling to the coastal city of Zinjibar, a security official said on Monday.

A few days ago al Qaeda and Islamist militants captured the Gulf of Aden city and are fighting against the government soldiers who are trying to recapture the city.

The conflict took place near Freedom Square where thousands of protesters have been camping since January to demand Saleh's ouster.

In the capital Sanaa, several explosions were heard on Sunday night, residents said.


About 300 people have been killed over the past few months in demonstrations against Saleh’s rule in Yemen.

A military group called for other army units to join them in the fight to bring down Saleh, pressurizing him to end his three-decade rule.

Generals and government officials abandon Saleh after deadly crackdowns on protesters started in March.

Despite demands by global and regional powers that he step down, Saleh refused to bow out averting a civil war that could shake the region and disrupt its oil supplies.

Opposition groups and diplomats have accused Saleh of using the al Qaeda threat to win aid from regional powers seeking his government's help in fighting the militants.

Analysts fear that Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula will exploit the instability.

Yemen, is the poorest state on the Arabian Peninsula, which sits on a shipping lane through which about 3 million barrels of oil pass daily with about 40 percent of its 23 million people living on less than $2 a day.