Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Yemeni capital on Friday to demand the resignation of veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh, galvanised by the death of Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi.
“Ali, it’s your turn next, yours and Bashar’s,” the protesters chanted referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Every dictator meets his end,” they chanted as they marched down Sanaa’s Sittine Avenue under the protection of dissident troops of the First Armoured Division.
“Kadhafi’s death has fired up revolutionaries across the world, but especially in Yemen,” said Walid al-Ammari, a spokesman for the youth activists who have spearheaded nine months of protests against Saleh’s rule.
“Saleh must draw the lessons from the death of Kadhafi who called the Libyans rats and was finally caught like a rat in a tunnel,” he told AFP.
As on most Fridays, the president’s supporters held a counter-demonstration after the main weekly Muslim prayers in Sabine Square in the south of the city, which is controlled by loyalist troops.