Protesters bay for Yemen prez's blood

 Explosions at an arms factory on Monday killed more than 100 people in a southern town where Islamists seemed to have driven out government forces, a reminder of instability that Saleh’s Western allies fear in the poorest Arab state.

Al Arabiya TV said the death toll could rise to around 150.

The main coalition of opposition groups said Saleh was to blame for the presence of militant groups, including al-Qaeda in Abyan province, where the blast took place.

“We accuse the president and his people of involvement with al-Qaeda. The chaos was planned in advance. Saleh's continuation in power is a danger to Yemen, its people and international interests,” the group said.

Abyan residents said in recent days that security forces had deserted the town of Jaar, the scene of the blast. Saleh, who has been alternately conciliatory and defiant, has vowed in public to make no more concessions to opponents demanding he step down after 32 years of authoritarian rule.

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