Yemen Sees Rival Protests as President Digs In
Pro- and anti-government demonstrators fill squares a mile apart
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 1, 2011 10:36 AM CDT
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh waves to his supporters during a rally supporting him in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, April 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
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(Newser) – A pair of opposing demonstrations—one supporting the president, one calling for his resignation—brought tens of thousands to the streets today in Yemen. The demonstrations took place in squares about a mile apart. Government and opposition leaders reportedly met in advance, agreeing to prevent confrontation. Though the UK Foreign Office warned of a “high possibility” of violence, crowds have started to disperse peacefully, the BBC reports.

In Tahrir Square, President Ali Abdullah Saleh told supporters that he pledged “to sacrifice myself for the people, with my blood and with everything I hold dear.” Saleh had initially offered to step down by 2012, but it now appears he's intent on "going down with the ship," an analyst tells Reuters. "The only way he'll let himself get dislodged is if he loses even more supporters from his inner circle."