Sana'a: Thousands of anti-regime protesters in the Yemen's second largest city of Taez on Tuesday embarked on a five-day walking protest from the city to the capital.
The protest is to underscore their demand that Yemen's outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh should stand for trial for killing protesters. A soldier was killed by gunmen in the city.
"At least 15,000 protesters have signed up ... Our message is to express our dismay over the international community's stand who dealt with our cause as a political crisis between the ruling party and the opposition not as a revolution," a walking protester told Gulf News via telephone.
"We want to emphasise that [there is] no immunity for killers or those who looted the country. Women acted on their initiative and joined in."
The protesters are expected to arrived the capital's Change Square, epicentre of thousands of anti-regime protesters, by Saturday.
Also in Taez, unknown gunmen shot dead on Tuesday a soldier and injured two civilians in one of the city's streets, a local journalist said.
The soldier was said to be one of the breakaway security units that switched sides with the anti-regime forces.
Supporters of Saleh said Tuesday they arranged similar counter walking protest from Sana'a to Taez in support of "the constitutional legitimacy " - referring to the Saleh regime.
"Thousands of protesters left the capital on foot today heading to Taiz city ,backing the constitutional legitimacy and president Ali Abdullah Saleh," the ministry of defence website reported on Tuesday.
The website said as many as 25,000 to 30,000 people would join the pro-Saleh protest, carrying olive branches, plant trees in roads, and dress in the Yemeni flag.
Yemen Airlines employees, including pilots ,kicked off Monday a strike demanding better conditions and sacking the director of the airline , a local source in the airport told Gulf News.
"The strike has halted Yemenia flights and crowds of passengers have got stuck in the airport since the early hours of today and then sent back home."