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Yemen has been hit by constant protests since mid-February. Even before that, the country’s government was weak and struggling to confront one of the world’s most active al Qaeda branches, a secessionist rebellion in the south and a Shi’ite uprising in the north.

The protests are part of a wave of unrest sweeping the region. Yemen’s demonstrators are calling for Mr. Saleh to step down, a demand he repeatedly has rejected while also trying to assuage opposition groups.

Mr. Saleh has said he would not seek another term in office in 2013 and offered to form a national unity government with opposition figures. These overtures have failed to satisfy the protesters.

On Sunday, Mr. Saleh sacked a close relative from a senior military post. The relative later announced his support for the protests.

Maj. Gen. Abdel-Illah al-Qadi told reporters he planned to visit protesters in Sanaa later Sunday. Gen. al-Qadi’s son, Mohammed, resigned earlier from the ruling Congress Party.

Resigned parliament member Abdel-Bari Degheish said a protester in Aden died Sunday from wounds he suffered a day earlier, bringing to seven the number of those killed during Saturday’s demonstrations.