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Clashes after Yemen's cabinet backs Saleh amnesty


Yemen

Clashes after Yemen's cabinet backs Saleh amnesty

There have been clashes in Yemen after the cabinet approved a draft law that would give President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution.

His supporters and opponents are bitterly divided over the amnesty, which still needs parliamentary backing. State media says it would also apply to the veteran leader’s aides in civil, government and military departments throughout his 33-year-rule.

In November, Saleh signed a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal after 11 months of deadly civil unrest.

A national unity government is now steering the country towards a presidential election in February.

However protests continue amid anger at the amnesty and living conditions in the impoverished state.

With Yemen pushed to the brink of civil war, the military is also divided. Some soldiers have been deployed to battle Islamic militants who have seized several towns while others have defected to join the opposition.

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