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Yemeni students protest in renamed 'Tahrir Square'

Yemeni students protest in renamed 'Tahrir Square'
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Thousands of people in Yemen have been staging a sit-in outside the university in the capital Sanaa, demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32 years in power.

Students have been joined by opposition politicians who allied themselves to the movement yesterday.

They have renamed the focal point of the demonstration “Tahrir Square”, inspired by the revolt in Egypt.

So far there has been no attempt to break up the protest by security forces. Supporters of the regime, who have attacked demonstrators in recent days, have been kept away.

Elsewhere, in the southern port of Aden at least four people were reported killed yesterday as police moved to break up protests.

The deaths came as President Ali Adbullah Saleh condemned violence which he said was carried out by “thugs” who were not members of the security forces.

But his renewed call for dialogue has fallen on deaf ears. A coalition of opposition parties said there could be no dialogue with a government which, it said, gathered mercenaries to terrorise people.

The president has said he will not seek re-election. Even so the protests have been gaining momentum in Yemen since the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, amid widespread anger over poverty, unemployment and corruption.