Thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets of Yemen in a planned "day of rage" against the president, a day after he offered to step down in two years time.
Up to 20,000 people gathered in Sanaa, the capital, on Thursday, demanding Al Abdullah Saleh end his 30-year rule of the impoverished nation, inspired by ongoing events in Egypt.But the crowd was met by a counter rally of pro-government protesters, leading to small scuffles between the two groups until police intervened.In a separate protest in Aden, a southern port city, officers reportedly fired tear gas and live ammunition to break up demonstrators, the AFP news agency said.
The action comes a day after Saleh announced
that he would not seek extension once his current term ends in 2013, and vowed to postpone controversial April elections - two key opposition demands.
He also said that he was opposed to hereditary rule, a response to suspicion among critics that he was grooming his eldest son, Ahmed Saleh, who commands an elite unit of the Yemeni army, to succeed him as president.