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Saleh's carrots and sticks fail to stop Yemen protests

Saleh's carrots and sticks fail to stop Yemen protests
Text size Aa Aa

Tens of thousands of people have again marched in cities across Yemen calling for an end to the president’s three-decade rule, in a clear rejection of his offer of a unity government.

They also remembered the victims of previous demonstrations; at least two dozen dead during the first two weeks of protests.

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“We swear that we won’t be scared no matter how many the president kills, how many he jails, how many he tortures. We will die as martyrs and go to paradise, and he will go to hell. Down with the president and this corrupt regime!” shouted Kamal, one of the protesters.

In a speech at Sanaa University, President Ali Abdullah Saleh turned more vehemently on his supposed ally the US, accusing it and Israel of being behind the unrest.

“The control room is in Tel Aviv which is plotting to destabilise the Arab world. The protesters are only copying what’s happened elsewhere. The control room is in Tel Aviv and it’s run by the White House,” he said.

Washington quickly dismissed the accusation.

Saleh said he would safeguard the nation’s security whatever the cost, just as thousands of his supporters took to the capital’s streets.

But neither his warnings nor his concessions seem to be deterring his opponents.