Yemen has seen large demonstrations both for and against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In the north of the capital Sanaa thousands of anti-government protesters turned out, responding to a call to “escalate the revolt”. There were similar rallies in several other towns across the country, according to witnesses.
The Yemeni leader has refused to quit and is still convalescing in Saudi Arabia after being injured three months ago in an attack on the presidential palace.
In a televised statement he accused his opponents of corruption and called them “arms traffickers” exploiting young demonstrators to plot his downfall.
The president’s own supporters were out in force in Sanaa. “The people want Saleh”, they chanted on the day they had dubbed “Yemen first” Friday.