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Soldiers join protesters in Yemen

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 03:25

June 29 - Hundreds of security forces in Yemen join demonstrators as the U.N. investigates the situation on the ground. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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New faces in the protests in Yemen .... soldiers once loyal to the regime. They now stand side by side with those calling for change. An unnamed army officer addresses the crowd. SOUNDBITE: Un-named Army officer, saying (Arabic): "If we have been delayed in joining your ranks, it is because we have a large number of enemies behind us from the state's National Security Forces who have prevented us from meeting you. But during the upcoming days, you will witness huge changes and great surprises." The nighttime demonstration takes on an air of celebration. The impoverished Arab state has been shaken to the core by months of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade rule, a resurgent al Qaeda wing and a separatist rebellion in the south. Now the UN is in Sanaa investigating the damage. Investigators spoke with key tribal leaders and members of the Yemeni Opposition Wednesday. They are expected to be on the ground until July 6. SOUNDBITE: Head of U.N. Delegation Hani Mujali, saying (Arabic): ''We're still listening and collecting information, and we also hope that the civilians wont become the victims of any party, so we're collecting the information and what we hear is that each side is accusing the other. There are civilians, victims, people dying, and people imprisoned.'' Sheikh Hamid al Ahmar says the meetings with the UN focused on crime . SOUNDBITE: Sheikh al Ahmar, saying (Arabic): ''This UN mission came to investigate the facts. We told them what we know from our side, we told them about the high number of crimes before the peaceful revolution and also about the high number of crimes during the peaceful revolution, the really awful ones, that are well known to those who want to know the truth.'' As the UN gathers information demonstrators are back on the streets. Opposition sources say more than 300 members of Yemenis security forces have joined them. President Saleh remains in Saudi Arabia, where he is still recovering after an attack on his Palace. Officials say the president will make his first public appearance with a recorded message to be broadcast on Yemeni state television soon. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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Soldiers join protesters in Yemen

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 03:25