Saleh loyalists blamed for Yemen shootings

GUNMEN killed at least five people protesting against a deal to end the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen’s capital yesterday, a day after the president agreed to step down.

If the deal goes according to plan, Mr Saleh will become the fourth Arab ruler brought down by mass demonstrations that have reshaped the political landscape of the Middle East. The deal, brokered by Yemen’s wealthier Gulf neighbours, granted Mr Saleh and his relatives immunity from prosecution.

Witnesses blamed Saleh loyalists for the latest bloodshed.

The deal calls for presidential elections within 90 days but could open the way to what will probably be a messy power struggle, although a national unity government is supposed to oversee a two-year transitional period.