26 Dec 2011

Yemenis denounce protester deaths

4:03 pm on 26 December 2011

Thousands of people have again taken to the streets of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, calling for the resignation of the country's acting leader.

The BBC reports that as they marched past the office of head of the transitional government, Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, the protesters called him a "tool" of outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The protest followed the killing of at least nine demonstrators in Taiz by forces loyal to Mr Saleh.

They had been demanding that Mr Saleh's immunity from prosecution be revoked.

Hours after Saturday's violence, the president said he would leave for the US to "calm the atmosphere for the unity government to hold the presidential election" in February.

But he gave no timetable for leaving and promised to return in opposition.

Mr Saleh handed over power to Mr Hadi last month after signing a Gulf Co-operation Council-brokered agreement that gave him immunity.

The deal sought to end a year of violence that has seen hundreds of protesters killed by security forces and Mr Saleh's supporters, and deadly clashes between them and pro-opposition tribal forces.