1 million Yemenis particiapte in mass funerals
Close to one million Yemenis participated the Sanaa funerals on Sunday of many of the 52 people killed Friday by loyalists of Yemen's president. This came as senior regime officials resigned over the killings.
According to eyewitnesses, it was the biggest gathering of opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
A number of families who lost their sons Friday said that "the children who died will be the fuel for the revolution," emphasizing their willingness to make themselves "martyrs of the Yemeni revolution until its success." They renewed their call to the Attorney General to issue a memorandum to ban Saleh and his family of travelling abroad and put them on trial for the killings.
The Yemeni leader faced another setback with the resignation on Sunday of Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Alsaidi, and human rights minister Huda al-Baan in protest at the deadly attacks on demonstrators. These two defections add to a long list of resignations including two other ministers and 23 MPs who left Saleh's ruling party. Sunday's resignations came a day after the resignation of Yemen's ambassador to Lebanon Faysal Ameen Abu Ras and the Ambassador of Yemen to Geneva Abdullah al-Nu'man.
Senior Muslim clerics called on Yemeni soldiers to disobey orders to open fire at demonstrators, and blamed Saleh for the bloodshed on Friday. They also demanded that Saleh's elite Republican Guard be withdrawn from the capital.
Saleh has declared Sunday a national day of mourning for the "martyrs for democracy," while blaming the opposition for "incitement and chaos" that had led to the killings.
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