At least 30 people are believed to have been killed in Yemen after pro-government troops reportedly opened fire on protesters in the capital, Sanaa.
According to witnesses, the shooting started after security forces tried to prevent anti-government worshippers from marching after prayers near the protest base at Sanaa University.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis have gathered in the capital for competing prayers and protests.
Yemen has been rocked by weeks of demonstrations that have undermined President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s grip on power. Saleh said after the clashes erupted that they were between citizens and protesters rather than security forces. He declared a state of emergency that forbids citizens carrying weapons, while expressing “sorrow” for the deaths.
Several allies of the president have recently defected to the opposition, calling on him to step down immediately and criticising rampant corruption and soaring unemployment.