Protestors and govt supporters clash in Yemen

Dozens of activists calling for the ouster of Yemen`s President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with the regime`s supporters in Sanaa, on Saturday.

Sanaa (Yemen): Dozens of activists calling for the ouster of Yemen`s President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with the regime`s supporters in Sanaa, on Saturday, a newswire reported.

Plainclothes police also attacked the demonstrators
who marched to the Egyptian embassy in Sanaa chanting "Ali,
leave leave" and "Tunisia left, Egypt after it and Yemen in
the coming future."

The chants were referring to the ouster of veteran
Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali early this month
and to continuing demonstrations against President Hosni
Mubarak in Egypt, the biggest the country has seen in the
three decades of his rule.

No casualties have been reported in the Yemen clashes.

A female activist, Tawakel Karman, who has led several
protests in Sanaa during the past week, said that a member of
the security forces in civilian clothes tried to attack her
with a dagger and a shoe but was held by other protestors.

"We will continue until the fall of Ali Abdullah
Saleh`s regime," said Karman, who was granted parole on Monday
after being held over her role in earlier protests calling for
political change in Yemen.

"We have the Southern Movement in the south, the
(Shiite) Huthi rebels in the north, and parliamentary
opposition," all of which are calling for political change,
said Karman.

Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world,
faces a growing al Qaeda threat, a separatist movement in the
south and a sporadic rebellion by Zaidi Shiite rebels in the
north.

"But what`s most important now is The Jasmine
Revolution," said Karman, a journalist who is also a senior
member of the opposition Islamist Al-Islah (Reform) party and
heads a rights group, Women Journalists Without Chains.

Karman also called for Thursday, February 3 to be a
"Day of Rage" throughout Yemen.

Protests have been taking place on a nearly daily
basis in Sanaa since mid-January calling for an end to Saleh`s
rule which began in 1978.

Saleh was re-elected in September 2006 for a
seven-year mandate.

A draft amendment of the constitution, under
discussion in parliament despite opposition protests, could
allow him -- if passed -- to remain in office for life.

Saleh is also accused of wanting to pass the reins of
power in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state to his
eldest son Ahmed, who heads the elite Presidential Guard, an
accusation he denies.

Bureau Report

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