Regime forces loyal to the US-backed Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in Sana’a on Thursday.

Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in the southern city of Taizz on Thursday to protest a deal signed by Saleh that grants him immunity from prosecution in exchange for quitting power. Sounds of artillery fire were also heard in the city.

Demonstrations were also held in the southern city of Bayda and several other towns.

Saleh signed the power transfer deal brokered by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday.

Under the deal, the Yemeni dictator will transfer his powers to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who is then expected to form a national unity government and also call for early presidential elections within a 90-day period. Saleh will also remain an honorary president for three months after signing the agreement.

However, Yemeni protesters have rejected any agreement that grants Saleh immunity from accountability for all the abuses he has committed against the nation over the years.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more have been injured in Yemen since the beginning of the uprising against the Saleh regime in late January.

UN Security Council Resolution 2014, which was unanimously passed on October 21, expressed “grave concern” at the situation in Yemen.

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