|Human rights minister announces his resignation in protest at gunning down of more than 50 anti-regime protesters.|
|Middle East Online, March 20, 2011|
By Hammoud Mounassar – SANAA
Muslim clerics urged Yemeni soldiers to disobey orders and a third minister resigned after the gunning down of more than 50 protesters calling for an end to President’s Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule.
Leading clerics said Saleh was responsible for the slaughter following Muslim prayers in Sanaa on Friday, the worst day of bloodshed in more a month of violent unrest.
“We call on the army and security forces to not carry out any order from anyone to kill and repress” demonstrators, a group of influential clerics in the deeply religious country said in a joint statement.
They also called for Saleh’s elite Republican Guard troops to be withdrawn from the capital, where anti-regime protesters have continued a sit-in near Sanaa University despite a state of emergency called after Friday’s violence.