At least three people are thought to have died and dozens to have been injured during a crackdown by the security forces in Yemen.
Several mass rallies brought two of the country’s major cities to a standstill before the authorities launched a crackdown.
The protests ground to a halt as people tried to get the injured and dying to hospital. Doctors say they have treated many casualties with bullet wounds.
Commentators fear the bloodshed may fuel popular anger on Friday. It is the Muslim day of prayer and has customarily become the largest day of rallies in the three month-long revolt.
Eyewitnesses say dozens of protesters have also been injured by the security forces in the city of Taiz.
A representative of the Gulf Cooperation Council is reportedly due in Yemen this Saturday to try and resurrect a deal to end the crisis which began with popular calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down from his long-running tenure.