Last updated: 29 July, 2011

Yemenis stage rival rallies in Sanaa

Tens of thousands of opponents and supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is convalescing in Saudi Arabia, held rival rallies in Sanaa on Friday.

“No dialogue, no haggling, victory is near,” chanted anti-Saleh protesters who gathered in Sittine Road, in a western district of the capital, for a day of “patience and strength,” an AFP correspondent said.

“Resistance, resistance, no to despair,” read their banners.

A smaller number of Saleh’s loyalists gathered in a southern district for a Friday of “loyalty” to the veteran leader, hospitalised in Riyadh from bomb wounds he sustained in an attack on his palace compound on June 3.

“The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh,” they chanted, waving portraits of the president and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

Anti-regime protests also took place in several provinces, including Yemen’s second largest city of Taez, in Ibb, Shabwa, Saada and Marib, witnesses said.