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Military withdraws from Yemeni capital

Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 01:39

Dec. 17 - Military units withdraw from streets of central Sanaa under a ceasefire agreed between troops loyal to government and opposition fighters. Sunita Rappai reports.

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A sight that could signify a new beginning for Yemen - government forces withdraw from the capital, Sanaa. Spectators watch as soldiers around the city pack up their belongings and leave the city in armoured vehicles. Meanwhile, diggers clear away mounds of earth and rubble that had served as military barricades during the recent anti-government unrest. The move comes after a ceasefire, struck between troops loyal to nominal President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposition fighters, appeared to be holding. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YEMEN'S DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF MILITARY WORKS, BRIGADIER ABDUL MONAM MOHAMED SAID "We are now beginning to remove the barricades and rubble and -- God willing -- implement the agreement of the military committee and we are optimistic about this good move." Under a deal brokered by Yemen's wealthy Gulf neighbours last month, Saleh agreed to hand over power to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution over the killing of demonstrators. His party and opposition parties agreed to form a unity government to lead the country to presidential elections next February. But dozens have been killed in fighting since then, with many Yemenis angry that the formal opposition accepted the deal. Sunita Rappai, Reuters

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Military withdraws from Yemeni capital

Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 01:39