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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03SANAA573
2003-03-21 14:49:00
SECRET
Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

TFIZ01: SANAA SITREP ON VIOLENT ANTI-WAR

Tags:   ASEC  AMGT  PREL  PTER  CASC  YM  EAC  COUNTER  TERRORISM 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 000573 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/EX, S/CT, CA, DS/DSS,
DS/IP/NEA, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/ICI/PII, CENTCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/21/2013
TAGS: ASEC AMGT PREL PTER CASC YM EAC COUNTER TERRORISM
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: SANAA SITREP ON VIOLENT ANTI-WAR
DEMONSTRATION

Classified By: Ambassador Edmund J. Hull for Reasons 1.5 (b,d)

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 000573

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/EX, S/CT, CA, DS/DSS,
DS/IP/NEA, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/ICI/PII, CENTCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/21/2013
TAGS: ASEC AMGT PREL PTER CASC YM EAC COUNTER TERRORISM
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: SANAA SITREP ON VIOLENT ANTI-WAR
DEMONSTRATION

Classified By: Ambassador Edmund J. Hull for Reasons 1.5 (b,d)


1. (S/NF) Begin Summary: A violent demonstration that left
several demonstrators dead and injured near the Embassy has
dissipated and is over as of 1800 local time. Embassy
reacted the Marine Security Guard and other measures in
response and informed the Embassy and American community of
the situation. ROYG security response was strong, including
more than 2000 military and police forces, including three
tanks, demonstrating the government's commitment to
protecting Americans. End Summary.

--------------
Demonstration Ended; Situation Under Control
--------------


2. (S/NF) The demonstration that turned violent near the
Embassy has dissipated and is over as of 1800 local.
Demonstrators clashed with security forces at Sheraton Circle
(about 1/4 mile from Embassy). Numbers were estimated at
5-7,000 demonstrators. Security forces used tear gas and
shots in the air to attempt dispersal. Embassy personnel at
the Sheraton reported witnessing shots being fired into the
crowd, and RSO received reports from our Local Guard Force
(LGF) that some demonstrators had weapons. Several
demonstrators have been reportedly killed and several police
injured. MFA informed DCM that more than 2000 military and
police forces were deployed to respond to protect the
Embassy.


3. (S/NF) A group of demonstrators gathered in Tahrir
Square near the center of Sanaa after Friday prayers (approx.
1230) and moved through the city past the Sheraton Hotel to
the intersection near the Sheraton (home of many Embassy
TDYers).


4. (S/NF) Yemeni security, including busloads of riot
police and water cannon, stopped the demonstrators from
coming closer to the Embassy. Embassy received notice of a

petition, and the DCM prepared to go out and receive it. Per
Embassy policy, three petitioners are allowed to come to give
the petition. However, the demonstrators could not decide
which three should go and the Embassy refused to allow more.
At that time, the crowd became unruly and began to throw
stones. Yemeni security reacted by firing tear gas and shots
in the air.


5. (S/NF) Several hundred demonstrators attempted to circle
around the Embassy but were met by security forces firing in
the air. They were unable to approach the entrance.


6. (S/NF) At this time, reports are that there are at least
four demonstrators killed, many injured and nine police
injured (mostly from stones). Al Jazeera reported six
demonstrators killed at 1700 local time.


7. (S/NF) RSO was informed by Yemeni security that an Amcit
journalist near the demonstration has been detained at a safe
location for his safety.

--------------
Embassy Response
--------------


8. (S/NF) Embassy reacted the Marine Security Guards and
advised the numerous personnel at the Embassy for StandFast
to remain indoors to avoid any stray bullets coming down.
RSO activated Embassy assets, including Force Protection
Detachment and SOC-Yemen, to provide additional protection.


9. (S/NF) Warden Messages have been issued to Embassy
community to inform them of the demonstration and the
recommend they continue to stay put. Several radio
announcements were made by RSO to inform Embassy personnel at
their residences and at the ACC to continue StandFast.


10. (S/NF) Ambassador called a meeting at 1430 local to
discuss internal defense measures at the Embassy and other
issues. Recommendations discussed include:

-- a 24/7 watch being instituted from the Embassy roof.
-- LGF roving patrols continuing around the perimeter.

-- Ensuring strong command and control structures under the
COM of all Embassy elements.

-- Rules of Engagement regarding response should an
intruder(s) attempt to scale the perimeter walls, including
use of tear gas, the use of lethal force if entry to the
Chancery or Residence is attempted and procedures for LGF and
RSO response.

-- DCM to ensure that Sheraton security is strengthened even
further, with the possibility of pulling Embassy personnel
there into the Embassy if necessary.

(S/NF) The 24th Marine Expeditionary Force called to give
their current position off Djibouti and to inform that they
can be available for rescue within 12 to 24 hours should the
situation warrant a forced evacuation.

--------------
ROYG Response
--------------


11. (S/NF) DCM received phone calls from the MFA protocol
director providing assurances to the Embassy that the ROYG is
responding strongly to the situation. He told the DCM that
more than 2000 military and police forces were deployed and
that the forces were expected to continue keeping the
demonstrators away from the Embassy. He said the ROYG has a
"total commitment" to protect the Embassy and other
diplomatic missions. He added that this commitment extended
to Embassy residences and the Sheraton Hotel, where he
realizes many Americans stay.


12. (S/NF) Ambassador took a call from the Presidency
giving reassurance that they will take all "necessary
measures" to protect the Embassy.

--------------
Press Reporting
--------------


13. (U) Television and wire services have been reporting
the demonstrations since 1500 local time. Al-Jazeera reports
that six people have been killed in fierce clashes between
police and demonstrators near the Embassy. Wire services (AFP
and Reuters) have reported that tens of thousands of
demonstrators chanted "Death to America." and that one
policeman and three protesters were killed. Yemeni
television and radio has not reported any news of the
demonstrations. However, the English language newspaper the
Yemen Times has been running wire reports of the
demonstrations on its website. PD has been fielding calls
from press about the situation and is drafting press
guidance.
HULL