Yemen’s top army generals join protesters

March 21st, 2011 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Sana’a, March 21 (IANS) A group of Yemen’s senior military officers, including General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, announced Monday he was joining the protesters against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Xinhua reported.

Al-Ahmar is the commander of the northwest military area, also known as the army’s 1st Armoured Division. He is also a half brother of President Saleh.

“On behalf of my colleagues in the army, we announce our joining in the protesters’ peaceful revolution,” al-Ahmar said in a tape recorded broadcast at the centre of the anti-government protest sit-in outside Sana’a University in the capital.

The officers joined in protest against Friday’s shootings that claimed the live of 52 protesters in Sana’a.

Besides al-Ahmar, General Mohammed Ali Mohsen, commander of the northeast military area, and Brigadier Hameed al-Qushaibi, commander of armoured brigade 310 in the northern province of Amran, have also joined the protesters, the statement said.

Meanwhile, military troops backed with tanks and armoured vehicles were deployed Monday from the army’s 1st Armoured Division camp to the capital Sana’a to protect the protesters, immediately after the announcement by the army commanders was made.

According to diplomatic sources in Sana’a, Yemeni ambassadors to Czech Republic, Japan and Syria announced their resignation from their posts and the ruling party, protesting Friday’s violence against protesters.

A government official said Yemen’s seaport city Aden’s governor also resigned Monday from his post and the ruling party for the same reason.

Monday’s development came a day after President Saleh dismissed his government and appointed it as a caretaker until he formed another government.

On Sunday, a group of Yemeni senior government officials declared their resignation after Friday’s shootings.

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