Last Updated: Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:51 pm (KSA) 09:51 am (GMT)

Tunisians inspire hundreds of Yemenis to protest


Hundreds of Yemeni protesters inspired by the Tunisian revolution took the streets to chant anti-government slogans in a university in Sanaa, Middle East Online reported on Wednesday.

Yemeni police fired warning shots to disperse the demonstrators in Sanaa University. No injuries were reported despite the ani-riot police resorting to gunfire. Several students were also arrested, but according to a security official the arrested students were soon released.

The police failed to break the protest and were able only to contain it at the university’s campus.

Demonstrators at the university chanted in support of Tunisia in the wake of popular protests that toppled the North African's country's iron-fisted leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali .

 Liberty's Tunisia, Sanaa salutes you a thousand times 

"Revolution, revolution, people against the frightened leader," they shouted. "Liberty's Tunisia, Sanaa salutes you a thousand times," shouted the students. "Toppling the corrupt (leader) is a duty."

Similar protests have been ongoing on a nearly daily basis in Yemen since Friday, when Ben Ali escaped to Saudi Arabia, ending his 23 years in power.

Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled 32 years. He was re-elected in September 2006 to a seven-year mandate.

A draft amendment of the constitution, under discussion in parliament despite opposition protests, could further stretch the president's tenure by allowing a life-long mandate.

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