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Competing Protests Begin in Yemeni Capital

Opposition supporters shout slogans during an anti-government protest in Sanaa, February 3, 2011

Hundreds of pro- and anti-government protesters have gathered in different parts Yemen's capital, Sana'a, on what opposition supporters have called a "day of rage."

The rallies come a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh told Yemen's parliament he will not try to extend his presidency when his current term runs out in 2013, and that his son would not seek to be his successor.

Mr. Saleh, who has ruled for 32 years, also called for a halt to all planned demonstrations.

The Yemeni opposition said it welcomed his announcement, but said it would continue a string of rallies activists have said were inspired by demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt.

The opposition has not demanded Mr. Saleh's ouster thus far, but has asked for reforms and a smooth transition of power through elections.

Video clip of Yemen Protest

Yemen, at risk of becoming a failed state, is trying to fight a resurgent al-Qaida wing, quell a southern separatist movement and cement peace for Shi'ite rebels in the north - all in the face of crushing poverty.

Mr. Saleh has proposed raising salaries for civil workers and the military in the wake of the protests. He has also ordered income taxes cut in half and has instructed his government to install price controls.

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

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