Yemeni president calls for ceasefire, talks

SANAA, Sept 23 Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:48am EDT

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SANAA, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for a ceasefire between loyalist troops battling forces backing a mass protest movement after his return from Saudi Arabia, where he was recovering for three months from a June assassination attempt.

"The solution is not in the mouths of rifles and guns, it is in dialogue and stopping bloodshed," the defence ministry cited Saleh as saying on Friday.

The president has faced protests against his three-decade rule since January and so far nearly 450 people have been killed in the revolt.

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