Yemen Army officers arrested for backing protest
Authorities in Yemen have moved against military figures who defected from the camp of the country`s embattled president to join the opposition, arresting several officers today, according to a military official.
Sanaa: Authorities in Yemen have moved
against military figures who defected from the camp of the
country`s embattled president to join the opposition,
arresting several officers today, according to a military
The detentions reflect President Ali Abdullah Saleh`s
defiance in the face of two months of protests demanding he
relinquish power and growing defections by loyalists, tribal
allies, ranking government officials and military figures.
The arrests followed a demonstration at al-Anad air
base in the southern Lahj province on Tuesday, where dozens of
soldiers and airmen joined the calls for the president to step
down, said the military official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity for fear of reprisals.
The official, who holds the rank of a colonel, said
several senior officers were detained but would not elaborate.
Human rights groups have said that at least 58
activists and opposition supporters have been detained in the
past three weeks, including more than 20 protesters who were
injured in clashes with police in Sanaa on Saturday.
Lawyer Abdel-Rahman Berman from the HOOD rights group
said two women protesters were abducted on Tuesday by female
security agents who forced them into a black car without
license plates but a government symbol on its rear window.
Meanwhile, opponents and supporters of Yemen`s
embattled president marched in cities and towns across the
nation for rival rallies after Friday prayers.
In the capital Sanaa and elsewhere, hundreds of
thousands chanted against Saleh, while renegade military
troops made up defectors provided security to the opposition
Outside the presidential palace in Sanaa, a mass crowd
of Saleh`s supporters carried banners reading: "Friday`s
The demonstrators wore loyalists badges depicting
Saleh, or showing the president and his son who runs the
Republican Guard, or badges of Saleh and a nephew who commands
the special presidential forces.