Army Commanders Defect in Yemen

President's key confidante switches to opposition
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 6:44 AM CDT
Yemen Commanders Defect from President Ali Abdullah Saleh as Tanks Enter Streets
Anti-government protestors carry the body of a demonstrator who was killed on Friday's clashes with Yemeni security forces, during his funeral procession in Sanaa,Yemen, Sunday, March 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Tanks and armored vehicles have been deployed in Yemen’s capital as support for the country's president continues to erode: Three army commanders have defected to the opposition, the AP reports. The officers are members of the president’s tribe, which called for his resignation yesterday. Among them is a top general who has been a 32-year confidante of President Ali Abdullah Saleh; the commander sent a message announcing his defection to protest leaders at Sanaa square. (More Yemen stories.)

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