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Thousands of Yemeni northern protesters arrive in Sanaa to call for Saleh's prosecution

(Xinhua)

09:32, January 09, 2012

SANAA, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Yemeni protesters marching from several northern provinces demanding the prosecution of outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh arrived in the capital Sanaa on Sunday amid heavy deployment of security forces, witnesses said.

The march, which is organized by the Houthi-led Shiite rebel group that engaged in fighting with Saleh's government over the past six years in northern restive province of Saada, started first from northwest province of Al-Hodayda on Wednesday, crossing almost 250 km to Sanaa.

The witnesses said about 3,000 protesters marched outside the residential compound of Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Sanaa while chanting slogans against a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal that granted Saleh immunity from prosecution.

They also demanded Saleh's trial for "ordering crackdown on anti-government protests over the past months," said the witnesses.

Hundreds of security soldiers accompanied the march since it entered Sanaa until its arrival in the anti-government protests epicenter Change Square, where they were received by thousands of protesters.

The GCC power transfer deal was signed by Saleh and the opposition in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 23, 2011, in an attempt to end the 11-month-long unrest that almost brought the impoverished Arab state on the verge of civil war and economic collapse.

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