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Yemen leader increasingly isolated as allies defect

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Yemen leader increasingly isolated as allies defect


Men in uniform are switching sides at an increasingly high level as pressure mounts on Yemen’s embattled president to stand down.

Top diplomatic and tribal allies of Ali Abdullah Saleh are also deserting him in droves but it is the military defections that are making most headlines.

Powerful general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar went on television on Monday to declare his and his unit’s support for what he called “the youths’ revolution” and its demands.

With tanks deployed at strategic points in the capital Sanaa, Yemen’s defence minister was quick to insist the army was standing by Saleh.

But, despite meeting loyalists, the president is more isolated than ever.

He sacked his cabinet after anti-government protests on Friday ended in dozens of deaths. Now Yemen’s UN representative has resigned, becoming the latest in a string of the country’s ambassadors to defect over the killings.

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