Yemen's parliament has approved a law imposing a state of emergency in the country amid protest-related violence.
The adoption of the emergency law Wednesday was expected, as Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling party holds a majority of the parliamentary seats.
Saleh announced a state of emergency after gunmen loyal to the president opened fire on a group of protesters calling for his ouster Friday, killing 52 people.
A wave of government officials, tribal leaders and diplomats defected to the side of opposition protesters after the bloody crackdown. Yemen's top military figure, Major General Mohsen al-Ahmar, also defected to “support the peaceful revolution.”
The president on Tuesday warned military leaders that any attempt at a coup will lead to civil war. He also said any division within the military would have a negative impact on the entire nation.
A spokesman for Saleh said Tuesday the president was willing to hold early elections this year and leave office by January in the face of intensifying opposition protests against his 32-year-rule. Mr. Saleh had previously said he would hang on until his term ended in 2013.