Supporters of Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh pictured after Friday prayers in Sanaa
Supporters of Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh hold up his picture alongside images of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, during a rally in support of his regime after Friday prayers in the capital Sanaa, August 26, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis took part in anti-regime protests across the country on Friday, as thousands of Saleh's supporters rallied in the capital. © Mohammed Huwais - AFP
Supporters of Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh pictured after Friday prayers in Sanaa
AFP
Last updated: August 26, 2011

Yemenis hold rival demonstrations

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis took part in anti-regime protests across the country on Friday, as thousands of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh's supporters rallied in the capital.

In Sanaa, anti-Saleh protesters joined Muslim weekly prayers at Sitin Street and called for an end to the rule of Saleh who has been recovering in Saudi Arabia since a bomb attack in early June.

"O Allah, as you bestowed victory upon our brothers in Libya, bless us with victory," said the imam who led prayers.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters also gathered in Taez, Yemen's second largest city and a protest hotspot. Other demonstrations were held in Al-Bayda, Hudayda and other towns, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Saleh loyalists rallied at Sanaa's Sabeen Square in support of the president, calling for his return to the impoverished nation which has been the scene of deadly protests since January.

Saleh vowed earlier this month to return to Yemen.

Despite his absence, Saleh has not transferred power to his Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, and his family members who lead strong army and security forces appear to be running Yemen.

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