SANAA - The fate of a Gulf-mediated deal to ease Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power could hang on how he handles mass protests on Friday, two days after plainclothes gunmen shot dead 12 demonstrators in Sanaa.
Opponents of the agreement, due to be signed in Riyadh on Sunday, have called for rallies across Yemen on the Muslim day of prayer to demand the veteran leader's immediate exit.
Even the opposition coalition that is party to the compromise warned Saleh on Thursday that any more violence against demonstrators could scupper the transition plan.
Funerals of the 12 protesters killed on Wednesday were expected to draw big crowds in the Yemeni capital, rocked by three months of demonstrations seeking to match the success of popular revolts against autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia.
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