Yemeni protests demand Saleh quit immediately despite transition plan

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Protesters in Yemen are calling for the immediate departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh despite a transition plan brokered by Persian Gulf nations under which he would step down.

Protesters in Yemen are calling for the immediate departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh despite a transition plan brokered by Persian Gulf nations under which he would step down.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets across the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state on Sunday, with the biggest demonstrations taking place in the capital Sanaa.

The protesters are demanding that Saleh leave immediately despite a deal drawn up by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a bloc of six oil-producing Gulf nations, under which he would leave office within 30 days, and presidential elections would follow a month later.

Saleh has yet to sign the agreement, which would also provide complete immunity for him and his family.

Yemeni opposition parties have welcomed the deal but refused to join a unity government with the ruling General People's Congress party.

In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, Saleh described the protest movement as a "coup," and said the transfer of power should be implemented "through ballot boxes and referendums."

At least 120 people have been killed in two months of protests against Saleh's 32-year rule.

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti)

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