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'Day of Rage' Rallies Staged in Yemen

VOA News February 18, 2011

Thousands of demonstrators in Yemen are taking part in "day of rage" protests Friday, calling for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Reuters news agency says eight protesters were injured in the southwestern city of Taiz after a passenger in a vehicle threw a grenade at them.

Also, at least four demonstrators were injured in the capital, Sana'a, as chanting anti-government demonstrators clashed with supporters of Mr. Saleh.

At least three people have died in the protests across Yemen which have now continued for an eighth straight day.

President Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for more than 32 years, is the focus of almost all opposition protests that have built up in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation over the past week. Demonstrators also have denounced what they say is systematic oppression and widespread corruption.

He has already pledged that neither he nor his son will seek the presidency after the long-time ruler's term expires in 2013. Mr. Saleh has been in office since 1978.

The Yemeni government's opponents have said they were inspired by the 18-day uprising that toppled Egypt's president earlier this month.

Yemen is one of the world's poorest nations. Even before the current protests, the country was beset by several internal conflicts involving southern secessionists, northern rebels and al-Qaida insurgents.

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

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