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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yemeni president sacks government

Sanaa (ANTARA News/AFP) - Yemen`s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Sunday sacked his government in the face of massive protests demanding his resignation, the state news agency Saba reported.

"The president has dismissed the government but asked the cabinet to remain in a caretaker position until a new one is formed," Saba said.

The announcement came as tens of thousands of people turned out in Sanaa on Sunday for the funerals of many of the 52 people gunned down by Saleh loyalists two days earlier.

The victims were killed on Friday when snipers raked demonstrators near Sanaa University square with bullets from surrounding rooftops.

The protest movement against Saleh started in late January.

The opposition says the president -- a key US ally in the war against Al-Qaeda in the region -- must resign this year, but he has refused to leave until his current term expires in 2013. Saleh has been in power since 1978. (*)

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