Pro-Saleh protests in Yemen, seven militants killed

December 31, 2011 02:10

DUBAI - Supporters of Yemen's outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh took to the streets of the capital on Friday for the first time since he signed a peace agreement last month as violence broke out on other fronts in the country.

Seven Islamist militants connected to al-Qaida were killed in southern Yemen, residents of a city occupied by the militants said. Also in the south, rebel fighters killed a security officer.

Clashes between security forces, Islamist militants and separatists have become common in the south after nearly a year of protests calling for the end of Saleh's 33-year rule eroded government control in the south.

Pro-Saleh protesters gathered near the presidential palace in the capital Sanna on Friday waving Yemeni flags and photographs of the outgoing president.

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