Yemen raises vigilance over potential Qaida attacks amid protests

08:41, February 25, 2011      

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Yemeni Interior Ministry on Thursday directed its security agencies to raise vigilance for possible infiltration of al-Qaida militants into the capital as the agencies were busy with maintaining the order of the ongoing protest rallies.

The direction came on the eve of planned pro- and anti- government massive demonstrations that scheduled to be staged in separated places in the capital Sanaa on Friday.

"The ministry directed its agencies to raise vigilance and tighten security grip around the capital and its entrances as al- Qaida militants may take advantage of the security agencies' busyness to infiltrate into the capital to carry out plots against vital local or Western facilities," the ministry said Thursday in a statement on its website.

The protestors of the opposition coalition announced Thursday it would organize a rally of around a million protestors outside Sanaa University on Friday to call for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster while the ruling party said it would stage a rival rally of a million demonstrators in downtown Sanaa to support president.

Inspired by Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings, the opposition have been staging daily protest rallies to call for ending the 33- year rule of embattled Saleh. The protests have intensified across the country since Feb. 11, causing clashes between pro- and anti- government protestors.

Saleh on Wednesday ordered security authorities to protect pro- and anti- regime rallies to prevent more casualties.

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