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Yemeni defense ministry warns opposition not to spark violence

(Xinhua)

13:56, September 07, 2011

SANAA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni defense ministry Tuesday vowed to defend the government, military and security facilities against any potential assault or violence by opposition-led marches.

The armed forces "will not tolerate any assault on innocent citizens, or the government, military and security facilities by those who seek to seize the power through instigating civil war and chaos," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The warning came as hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters marched in the capital Sanaa and other major cities to press President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign.

The opposition declared Sunday that it would stage daily marches under the protection of defected army units in major cities.

In response, the government deployed heavy forces around vital installations and sealed off the main entrances to the capital as a precautionary measure to "prevent pro-protest armed tribesmen from possibly massing in Sanaa."

With tensions running high, the government and opposition accused each other of attempting to spark violence.

Earlier Tuesday, the Yemeni ruling party headed by Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi discussed the possibility of holding dialogue with the opposition to set a mechanism for power transition based on a deal initiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

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