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After Egypt revolution, Yemenis want president to quit

Several thousand young Yemenis gathered in central Sanaa today, calling for President Ali Abdallah Saleh to step down and follow the example of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Pics: Egypt liberated

world Updated: Feb 12, 2011 18:39 IST

Several thousand young Yemenis gathered in central Sanaa on Saturday, calling for President Ali Abdallah Saleh to step down and follow the example of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

"After Mubarak, it's Ali's turn," chanted some of the estimated 4,000 protesters, mostly young students.

The protesters then headed off towards Sanaa University, with some crying: "Get out, Get out Ali" and others chanting: "The people want the regime to fall."

The protest began after an exchange between a group of students trying to put up an anti-regime poster and supporters of the ruling General People's Congress who tried to prevent them, according to witnesses.

By midday (0900 GMT), the demonstrators had reached the Avenue Jamal Abdel Nasser, some 500 metres (yards) from Tahrir Square which was occupied by supporters of the ruling party.

On Friday, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Yemen's capital to celebrate the resignation of the Egyptian president, an AFP correspondent said.

Several hundred protesters tried unsuccessfully to approach the Egyptian embassy, which was protected by a large police force, while others gathered in Al-Tahrir Square outside the seat of the Yemeni government.

Yemeni security personnel were also out in force around the square, and elsewhere in the capital.

Some demonstrators chanted slogans such as "Yesterday Tunisia, today Egypt, and tomorrow Yemenis will break their chains" and "The people want to overthrow the regime."

Tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out on February 3 to protest against the rule of Saleh, who has been in power since 1978.

An equal number of pro-regime demonstrators also took to the streets on the same day.

The situation has since calmed, with the parliamentary opposition calling on the president to implement promised reforms.