Augusta native tells of Yemen horrors

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Seen through the eyes of one U.S. journalist, the massive government protest in Yemen's capital March 18 can only be described as a bloodbath.

Jeb Boone in Say'un, Hadramout, Yemen, a governorate in the southeaster part of the country, in front of an old Ottoman fort with the tourist police escort.
Jeb Boone in Say'un, Hadramout, Yemen, a governorate in the southeaster part of the country, in front of an old Ottoman fort with the tourist police escort.

"It was the most awful thing I've ever seen in my entire life," said Jeb Boone, an Augusta native who is managing editor of the Yemen Times newspaper. "The whole place was covered in a red swath of blood."

As tens of thousands gathered in Sanaa to demonstrate against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, snipers fired on protesters from rooftops.

Police also made a wall of tires around the crowd and lit them on fire, making a barricade of flames that blocked an escape route, The Associated Press reported.

Boone said a field hospital set up in a mosque next to the protest was overflowing with dead and wounded.

Boone has covered the Yemeni uprising since protests began in January. Since the deadly protest in the capital, he has said it is clear Saleh will eventually step down. How soon and how peacefully he bows out remains the question.

Some of the estimated 52 killed in the protest were people Boone had befriended through his reporting.

He saw a funeral procession from the field hospital to the protest camp at Sanaa University stretch for a mile.

Rebels wrapped bodies in Yemeni flags and carried the dead above their heads to a memorial attended by more than 100,000 people, Boone said.

He heard them chant: "The martyrs are the beloved of God."

It was those events that drove most of the country's military to side with the revolution against the government, Boone said.

When the Army joined the revolution, Boone watched as protesters met soldiers with kisses and flowers in the streets.

"When the top military commander Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar defected from Saleh and joined the revolution, I knew Saleh was done," Boone said. "The military is split at about 75 percent (to) 25 percent in favor of the revolution. (Saleh) knows he would lose any conflict."

The government's loss of control is especially evident in Abyan province, where an explosion killed at least 110 people in a weapons factory Monday.

Though the explosion was an accident, it occurred as looters tore through the unprotected province after the military had pulled out.

Boone said the Yemenis support the West's actions in Libya and the air campaign to halt Moammar Gadhafi's attacks on civilians.

"One of my Yemeni co-workers at the Yemen Times told me today that they would be doing (the) whole Arab world a service if they just dropped a bomb in (Gadhafi's) lap," Boone said. "With that same sort of mentality, Yemenis are asking for American help in their revolution."

Still, Boone foresees a fight to be done solely by the Yemeni people, as the U.S. historically has supported Saleh's opposition to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Boone said violence has died down since the massacre March 18. In Sanaa, where Boone lives, at least 100,000 demonstrators gather at the protest camp every Friday for prayers.

Other protests take place in Taiz, four hours south of Sanaa, and Aden, on the coast of the Indian Ocean, but Boone must stay in the capital.

The government has cracked down on foreign journalists, and four of Boone's journalist friends were deported this month when soldiers broke into their tower house and arrested them.

"All I can really do is keep my head down and stay behind cover," Boone said. "It's only a matter of time before Saleh will go. The only question is the manner in which he makes his exit."

Boone on the March 18 protest:

"There is one 11-year-old boy, Salem, still in the hospital who had both of his eyes shot out. One bullet passed through both of his eyes, from one side of the front of his head to the other. It missed his brain, so he survived, but it blinded him. There are hundreds of other stories just like this."

Read more of Jeb Boone's articles on his blog:

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copperhead 03/30/11 - 01:12 am
Obama has to step in and

Obama has to step in and start another war. Human rights have been violated. We need to be in 4 wars maybe even 5 or 6. Heck,we should step in and start a war with EVERY government that violates human rights. We are the world's police and should act accordingly. Go get yemen obama then somalia and so on and so won't take long before we will be at war with the rest of the world.

Chillen 03/30/11 - 09:15 am
The whole middle east is

The whole middle east is going nuts. WWIII has begun.

WW1949 03/30/11 - 09:40 am
Nuts, is all I can say about

Nuts, is all I can say about those countries and their people who will never end their fighting. Jeb you fit in good with the towel on your head and the beard but your skin is too light. Don't cry when you get arrested in that backward country. As for me, I would not be in that part of the world for any reason.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 03/30/11 - 10:53 am
Our Intel says the Muslim

Our Intel says the Muslim brotherhood is being supplied & led by Iran and that these countries suddenly and in concert falling like this right after Iran told several sources they would leads us to believe that Iran is behind the Muslim Brotherhood. Once the Muslim brotherhood uses the west’s money and weapons to take over the entire Mediterranean look for them to turn on ALL Westerners and film folks like Jeb being beheaded for nothing more than being a westerner. Read the Book of Daniel to see what happens next. FBI and several other sources say the terrorist have hired the Cartels to transport terrorist into key locations around America to negate our ability to stop the Muslim brotherhood from wiping out Israel which is really what the end goal of all this is. The exact Intel says the "middle will be tricked into rising up causing a distraction while an enemy from the south Burns U.S." This is textbook Green Beret training that say’s to use the local populace as a distraction then use that as a distraction to launch the main offensive. The Zetas the most violent cartel in the world now were trained by GREEN BERETS and are partnered with Muslim Brotherhood terrorist who can come & go across our border at will.
“The report states that drug cartels have “exceptional surveillance and countersurveillance capabilities, robust technical communications capabilities as well as effective marking and signaling techniques to facilitate smuggling of illegal personnel and illicit cargo into the United States. It states that some of the aliens smuggled into America are suspected of being Middle Eastern terrorists”

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