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Yemen's Saleh vows to leave, troops kill 9 protesters

Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

A man gestures to anti-government protesters as they march from the southern Yemeni city of Taiz to the capital Sanaa, Dec. 24. The demonstrators arrived in Sanaa on Saturday after a five-day demonstration called "The March of Life" for a stretch of 250 kilometres (155.3 miles) to demand the trial of Yemen's outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Reuters reports:

Hours later, Saleh, who repeatedly backed out of the Gulf plan to nudge him from power before a June assassination attempt forced him into hospital in Saudi Arabia, said he would both let Yemen's new government work, and oppose it.

"I will go to the United States. Not for treatment, because I'm fine, but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow the unity government to prepare properly for elections," he said, adding he would undergo some medical tests.

"I'll be there for several days, but I'll return because I won't leave my people and comrades who have been steadfast for 11 months," he said. "I'll withdraw from political work and go into the street as part of the opposition."


Yahya Arhab / EPA

Yemeni protesters run from tear gas fired by Yemeni forces at anti-government protesters in Sanaa, Yemen, Dec. 24. The protesters demand the prosecution of Saleh and his regime officials for ordering the killing of hundreds of protesters since the anti-Saleh uprising began 11 months ago.

Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

People sitting on the roof of a demolished house watch anti-government protesters as they march from the southern Yemeni city of Taiz to the capital, Sanaa, Dec. 24.

Hani Mohammed / AP

Protestors carry an injured man from the site of clashes with security forces in Sanaa, Yemen, Dec. 24. More than 100,000 protesters who entered Yemen's capital Saturday after a four-day march from another city were attacked by elite troops loyal to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who opened fire with guns, water cannons and tear gas. Medical officials said at least three protesters were killed, including a woman.

Hani Mohammed / AP

Protestors stand behind the gate of a field hospital to watch wounded demonstrators being carried from the site of clashes with security forces, in Sanaa, Yemen, Dec. 24.