Tags: ML | Yemen

Tanks Deploy in Sanaa as Top Army General Defects

Monday, 21 Mar 2011 06:35 AM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Tanks and armored vehicles have deployed in the Yemeni capital after a top army commander and close aide to the country's embattled leader announced he was defecting to the opposition.

Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar is the commander of the army's 1st Armored Division, units of which deployed Monday in a major square at the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. Protesters have been camping out there as they call for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

News of al-Ahmar's defection to the protesters' cause came one day after crowds flooded cities and towns across Yemen to mourn dozens of protesters killed Friday when Saleh's security forces opened fire from rooftops on a demonstration in Sanaa.

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