Examples set by the Tunisian protesters are being taken up strongly by several countries suffocated with steep poverty and high unemployment rates.

After Egypt, Yemen is the latest country to take to the streets protesting against the 32-year old government of Ali Abdullah Saleh and demanding him to step down.

Protestors organized marches in four separate parts of the capital to distract security forces on Thursday and chanted slogans like No to extending. No to bequeathing.

The protests, however, remained more peaceful than the ones in Egypt of Tunisia.

CNN reported through sources that a smaller number of people turned out to favor President Saleh.

Saleh's government has been in power for almost 30 years, and has been a strong ally of the U.S. against al-Qaeda.

However, the country has been plagued with high rates of unemployment, poverty as oil reserves decline and water reserves are also depleted.

Almost half its 23 million people live on $2 or less a day, and one-third suffer from chronic hunger, The Guardian reported.

Saleh has been trying to make amends by promising several changes to the constitution and wage increases to civil servants and military personnel.

But the citizens are not taking chances, particularly on the rumors that Saleh intends to 'bequeath' his Presidency to his son Ahmed, currently heading the Presidential Guard.

However, the 64-year old Saleh denied such accusations in a television conference and said We are a republic. We reject bequeathing (the presidency).

Yemen's Interior Minister Motahar Rashad al-Masri also denied any resemblance between protests in Egypt and Tunisia to the ones in Yemen.

Yemen is not like Tunisia, he said, stating that Yemen was a 'democratic country' and the demonstrations were peaceful, Al Jazeera reported.

Even so, it is hard to ignore the similarities in the three regimes - all three governments have been in power for almost 30 years. There are reports of corruption, unemployment, high inflation and food prices and poor living conditions in all the three regions.

Both Egyptian and Tunisian governments have called the protests 'unprecedented.'

Tunisian president Ben Ali declared a state of emergency in the country, and all schools and universities were closed indefinitely to suppress the protests. Immediately after dissolving his government and stating that he would not change the constitution, he fled the country and sought refuge in Malta.

Media reports stated that the Egyptian rulers Hosni Mubarak and his wife Suzanne Mubarak, also fled the country on Tuesday but later reports contradicted these reports and said the rulers had not taken flight.

Mubarak's son Gamal Mubarak, however, fled to Egypt with his family. Gamal was expected to be Hosni's successor.

Meanwhile, Arabian leaders continue to call for peace and stress on the need for reforms.

Arab officials attending the Davos conference in Switzerland stated that reforms are needed across the Arab world to ensure a better standard of living for its citizens.

Saudi Prince Turki- al-Faisal said he was not sure about Mubarak's future, in an interview with Reuters Television.

Bahrain's king Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa called for a summit of Arab leaders to calm the region amid widening protests inspired by the toppling of Tunisian's iron-rule regime, AP reported.

The king has pledged support for Egypt's Mubarak, the report said, adding that Bahrain is among the most volatile nations in the Gulf.