More Yemeni troops join protesters
IRAN: More Yemeni soldiers have reportedly joined the camp of
anti-government protesters, despite the possibility of being arrested by
the regime. On Saturday, the servicemen were cheered by the protesters
as they started attending the demonstrations held in the capital of
Sana’a’s Change Square, Reuters reported.
“God willing, in a week we will force him to leave,” said Salaman
Ahmed al-Hawri, one protester, referring to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
“We are standing here with our naked chests. The youth is very
enthusiastic. He (Saleh) will not stay.” Three people were also injured
in an attack on anti-government protesters in the eastern city of Hajjah.
Unidentified gunmen have reportedly abducted a Saudi diplomat in the
unrest-riddled country’s capital.
Since late January, hundreds of thousands of people have turned out
for regular demonstrations in main Yemeni cities, calling for corruption
and unemployment to be tackled and demanding the president’s departure.
Since the beginning of the popular revolution, a huge number of
Saleh’s loyalists, tribal allies, ranking government officials, military
figures and several soldiers have defected to the opposition.
According to local sources, at least 300 protesters have been killed
and many others injured during clashes with riot police and forces loyal
to the Yemeni president armed with batons, knives and sticks. Also on
Saturday, medical sources said army gunfire has wounded two protesters
in the southern port city of Aden.
In response to a call by the opposition, a general strike is underway
in the city and many shops, businesses and schools have shut down in the
cities of Hudaydah and Taizz, respectively in the west and the