Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yemenis want immediate Saleh ouster

Anti-government protesters in Sana'a on April 29, 2011

Source: Press TV

Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters take to the streets in Yemen to demand the immediate departure of President Ali Abdallah Saleh, instead of the phased handover of power.

In the capital, some 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets to mark a "Friday of Loyalty to the Martyrs" after attending the funeral of 12 anti-government protesters who were killed by security forces on Wednesday.

“We will continue our revolution forcefully and we will not back down even if we have to offer a million martyrs," a cleric told the crowds.

The protesters also condemned a deal proposed by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council under which Saleh will receive complete immunity from prosecution in return for transferring power to his vice president and submitting his resignation to Parliament within 30 days.

The agreement is due to be signed in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Many protesters, however, say Saleh cannot be trusted to honor the deal.

In the port city of Hudaydah, plainclothes gunmen attacked anti-government protesters, wounding at least 10 demonstrators.

"Two of them were seriously injured, and they were abducted by what we think were plainclothes security men and put in a car. There was nothing we could do," AFP quoted Abdulhafez al-Hatami, a political activist in Hudaydah as saying.

Similar huge anti-Saleh protest rallies were also held in the cities of Ibb and Bayda.

According to local sources, since the beginning of anti-Saleh demonstrations across Yemen in late January, at least 300 protesters have been killed and many others injured during clashes with riot police and armed forces loyal to the unpopular Yemeni president.

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