20K Protest Yemen President

Pro-government demonstrators also rally
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2011 7:19 AM CST
Updated Feb 3, 2011 7:54 AM CST
Supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh hold banners and raise his portraits during a rally in support of Saleh and his government in Sanaa,Yemen, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011.Thousands of opponents...   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
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(Newser) – Some 20,000 protesters joined together in Yemen’s capital for a “day of rage” against the country’s president, rejecting his plan to quit in 2013, the BBC reports. Elsewhere in the city, about the same number rallied in support of President Ali Abdullah Saneh; the pair of protests are the largest so far in Yemen as it follows the lead of Egypt and Tunisia.

“The people want regime change,” the anti-Saneh protesters yelled. “No to corruption, no to dictatorship.” Rally organizers slammed growing poverty and called for greater political freedom in an expanding population of youth hit by a 40% unemployment rate. Saneh backers, meanwhile, also urge reform, but hold that the president must remain in power to keep Yemen stable. Both protests were peaceful, the BBC notes.

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