Mass rallies across Yemen demand regime change

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 08:41

Sanaa: A powerful Yemeni tribal leader
warned on Monday against attacks on anti-government protesters as
hundreds of thousands rallied in the capital Sanaa and several
other cities calling for regime change.

Yemen has been gripped by a six-month political
crisis, with near daily street protests demanding longtime
President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar, who in March joined the uprising
against Saleh, warned the army not to attack thousands of
students camped out close to Sanaa University. A youth group
said earlier that the government is preparing to storm the
camp.

Meanwhile, a small group of Saleh`s supporters,
including women and children who live close to the students`
camp, demonstrated in front of the presidential palace
demanding the camp be emptied out.

They carried banners claiming their daily lives have
been disrupted by the camp`s proximity.

One banner read: "The people want the tents to be
moved," a play on words on the opposition`s popular slogan,
"The people want the president to leave."

Saleh has clung to power, refusing to cave in to
demands for his ouster although he remains hospitalised in
Saudi Arabia, recovering from wounds sustained in a June 3
attack on his presidential compound in Sanaa. He has left his
sons, relatives, close associates and loyalists in charge back
home.

The youth group behind the university protest said in
a statement today that the government is inciting families who
live close to the square where the students are camped out to
demonstrate against them. Since Yemen`s uprising erupted in
February, the students have dubbed the location "Change
Square."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 08:41

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