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10,000 Yemeni forces defect from government, join protesters: official

English.news.cn   2011-04-13 22:58:37 FeedbackPrintRSS

SANAA, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Around 10,000 Yemeni officers and soldiers of the Republican Guard, Central Security and Air Forces defected on Wednesday from the government to join protesters demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's immediate step down, an army official told Xinhua.

"More than 10,000 officers and soldiers of the Republican Guard, Central Security and Air Forces arrived on Wednesday at the headquarters of the 1st army Armored Division in the capital Sanaa and met with the division's commander General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, " the official told Xinhua, requesting anonymity.

"They declared in front of commander al-Ahmar their defection from Saleh's government and the joining to the youth-led protesters, vowing to support and protect the peaceful revolution of the youths," the official said.

Earlier the day, another army official told Xinhua that a soldier and an