SANAA - Thousands of Yemeni women protested in Sanaa and other cities on Saturday, enraged by President Ali Abdullah Saleh's remarks it was against Islam for women to join men in the demonstrations aimed at toppling him.
The women, many clad in black Islamic dress with full face veils, said their role in protests was religiously sound and called on the president to step down in line with nearly three months of demonstrations demanding his ouster. "It seems that President Saleh failed in all his efforts to employ tribes and security to strike at those seeking his exit, and so he resorted to using religion, especially after he saw that thousands of women were taking part in protests," said Samia al-Aghbari, a leader in the protest movement.
Saleh, who has warned of civil war and the break-up of Yemen if he is forced out before organizing an orderly transition, urged the opposition on Friday to reconsider their refusal to join talks to resolve the crisis in the fractious state.
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