Yemen

Yemeni protesters to decry Saleh transition deal

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  • Yemen set for another Friday of rival demonstrations

  • Fate of Gulf-brokered transition deal hangs in balance

  • Pact would give Saleh immunity and 30 days to step down

By Mohammed Ghobari and Mohamed Sudam

SANAA, April 28 (Reuters) - 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. "In the event of your inability to protect protesters, we will find ourselves unable to pursue an agreement that the regime seeks to use to shed more blood," the coalition said.

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