Yemenis hold rival protests
Sanaa: Tens of thousands of opponents and
supporters of embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
held rival rallies following prayers on the first Friday of
the Muslim fasting Ramadan month.
"Our revolution is popular, and we will continue
peacefully" chanted large masses of anti-regime protesters who
gathered in Sanaa`s Sittin Street for a rally entitled
"peaceful until victory," a news agency correspondent reported.
"The tyrant will go, and the people will stay,"
chanted the crowds that organisers put at around 250,000.
Large anti-regime protests were also held across
In Taez, Yemen`s second largest city, a mass protest
was held in Freedom Square, calling for an end of Saleh`s
regime and insisting on following peaceful ways to achieve the
goals of their protest.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of his loyalists rallied
at Sanaa`s Sabeen Square renewing allegiance to Saleh in a
rally titled the "Friday of compassion."
"The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh" they chanted as
many carried posters of him and Saudi monarch Abdullah as a
sign of gratitude for providing medical care for Saleh.
The veteran leader has been in a Saudi hospital since
June after he was wounded in a bomb attack on his Sanaa
compound, but he has refused to pass the reins of power to his
Protests erupted in the south Arabian Peninsula nation
in January demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been in
office since 1978.
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