Yemenis hold largest protest yet against longtime leader, flooding capital and other cities

SANAA, Yemen — Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis packed a square in the capital and marched in villages and cities across the nation on Friday in what appeared to be the largest demonstrations in more than a month of demands the country’s longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

The Associated Press – Anti-government protestors attend Friday prayers during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa,Yemen, Friday, April 1, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have packed a main square in the capital and are on the march elsewhere across the nation, demanding the country’s ruler of 32 years step down. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

Youth leaders said they planned a march in the direction of the heavily guarded presidential palace.

Many mosques in the capital shut down — a move unprecedented for Friday, the Muslim day of prayer — as worshippers and clerics streamed to the square outside Sanaa University.

Protesters filled the plaza and spilled out along three adjoining streets. Previous demonstrations have taken up the square and at most two of the streets that feed into it.

The demonstrators set up tents and hung up posters of young men who were fatally shot by government forces during previous protests.

In a parallel demonstration, some 10,… >>>

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