Senior Yemeni officials resign after 52 demonstrators killed
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, has been left increasingly isolated within his own government after a raft of senior officials resigned in protest at the killing of 52 protesters on Friday.
By Adrian Blomfield
20 Mar 2011
Undeterred by the presence of tanks deployed to enforce a state of emergency, tens of thousands defied the regime’s increasingly brutal attempts to crush dissent by thronging the streets of the capital Sana’a to bury the dead.
Two days earlier, Mr Saleh had tried to crush the spirit of the growing protest movement when loyalist snipers, some of whom allegedly carried government identity papers, opened fire at demonstrators from city rooftops.
But the plan appeared to have misfired and the protests were the biggest since the campaign against Yemen’s president of 32 years first erupted last month.
From mosques around the city, the dead were borne aloft to a mile-strong stretch of road outside Sana’a University where the demonstrators have erected a tented camp to serve as the headquarters of the campaign against Mr Saleh.
“Ali, the blood of the martyrs will not be in vain,” the crowds chanted, addressing the president by his first name.