Protestors and government supporters clash in Yemen

Sanaa (Yemen), Jan 29 (AFP) Dozens of activistscalling for the ouster of Yemen''s President Ali Abdullah Salehclashed with the regime''s supporters in Sanaa, today, an AFPjournalist reported.

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

The chants were referring to the ouster of veteranTunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali early this monthand to continuing demonstrations against President HosniMubarak in Egypt, the biggest the country has seen in thethree decades of his rule.

No casualties have been reported in the Yemen clashes.

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

"We will continue until the fall of Ali AbdullahSaleh''s regime," said Karman, who was granted parole on Mondayafter being held over her role in earlier protests calling forpolitical change in Yemen.

"We have the Southern Movement in the south, the(Shiite) Huthi rebels in the north, and parliamentaryopposition," 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 thesouth and a sporadic rebellion by Zaidi Shiite rebels in thenorth.

"But what''s most important now is The JasmineRevolution," said Karman, a journalist who is also a seniormember of the opposition Islamist Al-Islah (Reform) party andheads 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 dailybasis in Sanaa since mid-January calling for an end to Saleh''srule which began in 1978.

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

A draft amendment of the constitution, underdiscussion in parliament despite opposition protests, couldallow him -- if passed -- to remain in office for life.

Saleh is also accused of wanting to pass the reins ofpower in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state to hiseldest son Ahmed, who heads the elite Presidential Guard, anaccusation he denies. (AFP)

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