At Least Seven Dead as Protests Rock Yemen

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At least seven people have been killed in clashes in Yemen, where thousands of anti-government protesters across the country are demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure.

Most of Wednesday's deaths took place in the capital Sana'a, where rival forces traded gunfire. Witnesses say President Saleh's military units clashed with forces led by Ali Mohsen, an army general who recently split from the president.

Mohsen's unit was manning a military checkpoint set up on a road leading to a main protest area.

Meanwhile, witnesses and medics say two people were killed and several injured in the southern port town of Aden after security forces opened fire at anti-government protesters.

Officials say the protesters were throwing rocks at police as they attempted to remove roadblocks in the city.

Clashes between Yemeni security forces and opposition activists have killed more than 100 people since the protests began two months ago.

The anti-government protests across Yemen on Wednesday were taking place after opposition leaders rejected a proposal from the Gulf Cooperation Council that called for President Saleh to transfer powers to a vice president.

The opposition said it turned down the plan because it protected the president and his family from prosecution and did not specify when he would step down.

President Saleh had indicated he was willing to accept the offer. He had previously offered to end his 32-year rule, but only after new elections are held.