SANAA (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis staged rival rallies on Friday, with massive crowds demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down and as many people turning out in support of the ailing leader. "The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh," pro-regime demonstrators gathered in Sabiine Square in Sanaa's southern district chanted, turning out in larger numbers than in previous weeks to mark what was dubbed "Yemen comes first" Friday, an AFP reporter said. Vast crowds of anti-regime protesters also turned out further north in the capital in support of what the opposition dubbed the Friday of "escalating the revolt." "Sanaa revolt revolt towards the presidential palace," they chanted. "The people want to settle" the revolt. Similar pro- and anti-regime demonstrations took place in several cities across Yemen, including Taez, Ibb, Hudaydah, Aden, Saada, and Marib, witnesses said. Salehon Tuesday accused his opponents of being corrupt and arms dealers.