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Yemenis Rally in Support of Opposition Council

Anti-government protesters march during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sana'a, 'August 19, 2011

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have rallied in support of the newly formed opposition "national council."

Pro-reform demonstrators took to the streets on Friday in the capital, Sana'a, and the southern city of Taiz. State-run media reports say a pro-government rally also took place in the capital.

On Wednesday, anti-government activists announced they had elected a 143-member "national council," that will explore ways to replace President Ali Abdullah Saleh and enact political reforms.

Anti-government protesters have been taking to the streets since January, calling for Saleh's resignation. On Tuesday, the embattled leader described his opponents as political radicals who want to take the country backwards.

Saleh says he will return to Yemen "soon" from Saudi Arabia, where he has been recovering from injuries sustained in an attack on his presidential compound last June.

Last week, Saleh told members of his ruling party he was willing to consider a plan from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that calls for him to turn over power to his vice president.

The GCC first proposed the plan in April. Saleh agreed to the proposal three times, but each time backed out before a deal could be signed.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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