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Tens of Thousands Demand President's Removal in Yemen

Protesters demonstrating in Taiz, about 200 kilometers south of Sana'a, during a rally calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign, April 6, 2011

Tens of thousands of Yemeni protesters called again on Wednesday for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh following a bloody crackdown on demonstrators.

Chanting protesters flooded the streets of the southern city of Taiz, where anti-government activists have staged demonstrations since February.

Thousands also continued protests against the president in the capital, Sana'a.

Protest-related violence across Yemen has killed more than 120 people since the backlash began earlier this year.

Several Western nations and groups have condemned the violence against demonstrators and called for a political solution. The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton issued a statement Tuesday saying Yemen's political transition "must begin without delay." The U.S. echoed that call.

On Tuesday, President Saleh accepted an invitation from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to hold talks in Saudi Arabia with opposition representatives.

Some opposition groups welcomed the talks, but many were non-committal.

A senior official with one of the larger anti-government parties said Mr. Saleh's opponents would be open to discussions, but only if the talks focus on the "immediate transfer of power."

The Yemeni president, in power for 32 years, has offered to step down but only after new elections are held. His term ends in 2013.

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

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