Protests demanding an end to Saleh's rule have been raging across Yemen for more than a month now [AFP]

Riot police in Yemen have fired warning shots and used batons to disperse prisoners in the capital's central jail after they called for the toppling of Ali Abdullah Saleh from power, according to a security official.

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A number of prisoners gathered in the prison's interior courtyard on Monday chanting "the people want to overthrow the regime", the official told the AFP news agency from inside the compound.

The prison protest in Sanaa is the latest of anti-regime demonstrations occurring in Yemen for more than a month.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Sanaa, said the prison is one of the largest incarceration facilities in the Arabian peninsula nation.

"This was a politically motivated event by the inmates to echo the same demands that have been mentioned everywhere in the country," he said.

"The security forces responded by firing tear gas canisters and gunshots were also heard. There is now a security presence outside the facility. We are told the situation is contained but there are reports of injured people."

Demonstrations across Yemen demanding an end to Saleh's presidency have left at least 27 people dead since late January, according to a toll by Amnesty International, the London-based rights group.

Scores have also been wounded in the violence.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies