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Opposition calls for mass protests

Yemen opposition groups called on protesters to march on President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s Sanaa palace on Friday to demand he step down, hoping to end a crisis that his allies abroad fear will benefit Islamic militants.

world Updated: Mar 24, 2011 00:01 IST

Yemen opposition groups called on protesters to march on President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s Sanaa palace on Friday to demand he step down, hoping to end a crisis that his allies abroad fear will benefit Islamic militants.

“Friday will be the ‘Friday of the march forward’, with hundreds of thousands of people... We will arrive where you are and we will remove you,” opposition spokesman Mohamed Qahtan told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

Seven weeks of street protests against Saleh’s 32-year rule has raised alarm in Western capitals at the prospect of a country where al Qaeda has entrenched itself falling apart. Complaining of marginalisation, southerners have said they want to secede from Saleh’s Yemen.