Million march in Sanaa as Prez in talks for exit

Yemen flag
Dubai, Mar 25: Yemen appeared to be nearing a brink today as protesters staged a "million people" march onto the capital Sanaa after Friday prayers, amid reports that a shaky President Ali Abdullah Saleh was engaged in serious negotiations to time an exit.

Truckloads of anti-Saleh protesters poured into Sanaa, while the supporters of the beleaguered President attempted to stage a counter rally, raising the prospects of a bloody confrontation.

Al-Jazeera quoting witnesses said, that loyalists forces from the Republican guards were out on the streets with tanks and bazokas to prevent anti-government supporters from entering the city.

Replicating the Egyptian million strong rally which proved to be the final nail in former dictator Hosni Mubarak's coffin, the Yemeni protesters carrying huge posters calling for Saleh to quit and labelled their march as "Friday of Departure".

During the rally, protesters have threatened to march to Presidential palace, raising fears of a possible repeat of the previous Friday when 52 demonstrators were gunned down by regime loyalists. The international rights group have warned the government against any renewed use of "deadly force".

Yemen is already under a state of emergency declared by Saleh just hours after bloodbath in Sanaa. The Chanting "no dialogue and no initiative" for this "dead regime" opposition spokesperson Mohammad al-Sabri dismissed dismissed Saleh's offer to step down.

The defecting general Ali-Mohsen has thrown his weight behind the protesters and vowed that his troops will protect the marchers.


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