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Yemen air force mutinies, demands ouster of Saleh's brother

Major General Mohammed Saleh, half brother of the outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh, is head of the air force.

Yemen air force mutinyEnlarge
Members and officers of the Yemeni Air Force protest outside the residence of Vice President Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi, as they call for the dismisal of Air Force commander Major General Mohammed Saleh, the half-brother of outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa on January 23, 2012. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of Yemen’s air force have mutinied, demanding the removal of outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s brother, Major General Mohammed Saleh, according to Al Jazeera. Upwards of 200 soldiers at several bases are said to be protesting.

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Yemen was first struck by a clash on Sunday when an officer threw a boot at a general, leading to a skirmish between soldiers and the general's bodyguards, the AFP reported. The air force unrest began Sunday at a base in the capital Sanaa, and spread to others in Taiz, Hodeida and Lahj province. Ali Abdullah Saleh, the outgoing president, left Yemen on Sunday for medical treatment in the United States after the country's cabinet approved an immunity law that would shield him from being prosecuted for any of the alleged crimes committed during his 33-year long rule.

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Despite Saleh's departure, the transition is far from over. Al Jazeera reported that President Saleh said he plans to return and assume duties as head of the General People's Congress party, which is the ruling party in Yemen. Some suspect that Saleh is planning to continue to run Yemen from behind the scenes, and the Associated Press reported that the state news agency still refers to the president “His highness, the brother, the president of the republic."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120123/yemen-air-force-mutinies-demands-ouster-salehs-brother