Nightly News | May 30, 2011
>>> years. today, some of the worst violence since the crisis began months ago. all of this is of great concern to the u.s., which has a lot at stake if yemen becomes more unstable. richard engle is in tripoli tonight with the latest on this volatile situation in yemen . good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, kate. the violence in yemen is now starting to look like a civil war with serious consequences for both the region and the united states . the most serious incident today was in the city of taz where witnesses say at least 20 demonstrators were killed during a government crackdown. the crackdown started with water cannons and tear gas . then, sharp shooters moved in. backed by tanked and bulldozers. they destroyed an entire protest camp in the city of tez. witnesses say some of the tents were crushed with demonstrators still inside. in yemen 's capital, furious crowds angry at the president. in power for three decades, he's refused to accept an internationally brokered deal to see him step down in exchange for stability. it's critical for the middle east and the united states . yemen borders saudi arabia , the world's leading oil producer, and they're home to a powerful al qaeda cell that sent a nigerian with a bomb in his underwear to blow up an aircraft in detroit on christmas day in 2009 . they mailed a sophisticated printer bomb last year. but opponents say the yemeni opponent is now using al qaeda to stay in power. islamic militants linked to al qaeda took over the a southern europe town this week, but only after government forces withdrew. and then troops bombed the town. they accuse salla of letting his people in.
>> the u.s. embassy called the crackdown in taez unprovoked and unjustified, kate.