Protests widen for ouster|
of Yemeni dictator
Above is one of the almost daily demonstrations in Yemen demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled since 1978. Washington has been a firm backer of Saleh and has been expanding its military role in the country as part its campaign against al-Qaeda forces throughout the region. One U.S. cruise missile attack in Yemen last year killed 40 civilians.
The dictator ordered troops and snipers to fire on a peaceful protest of tens of thousands in the capital Sanaa, March 18, killing 52 people. Saleh then imposed a state of emergency. On March 23 the commander of the armys 1st Armored Division, Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, joined the opposition along with at least 18 other top military officers.
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