Print options

February 11, 2011

Clashes in Yemen as Thousands Rally Against Government

Thousands of protesters gathered in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, Saturday to celebrate the resignation of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and call for their own president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to step down.

The protesters began marching toward the Egyptian Embassy but were confronted and pushed back by a group of men armed with sticks. There were conflicting reports as to whether the armed men were police or government supporters.

Reports say the clashes came after armed men forced hundreds of protesters to stop a demonstration Friday night in Sana'a.

The gathering points for Saturday's protests were Sana'a University and the city's Tahrir Square, which bears the same name as the rallying point for the protests in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Yemen's ruling party has set up tents in Yemen's Tahrir, or "Liberation," Square to prevent anti-government protesters from taking over the area.

Like Mr. Mubarak, President Saleh has been in power for more than three decades -- since 1978. In an effort to quell unrest, he has promised to step down at the end of his term in 2013.

Yemen is also struggling with poverty and a resurgence of al-Qaida.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.