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Yemen president sacks minister amid growing unrest

Yemen's endowments minister pays the price for failing to reach an agreement with protesters calling for the president to stand down

AP , Monday 14 Mar 2011

Yemen's president has sacked a key minister for failing to mediate with opposition parties and resolve a month-long crisis that is threatening to spiral out of control.

The move came as a standoff continued Monday between hundreds of policemen and plainclothes security officers and protesters camped out near Sanaa University in the capital. The protesters, who have been demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down, fear they will be attacked to clear them out of the square.

At least 100 were injured Sunday in pitched battles between the two sides. A presidential decree late on Sunday relieved Yemen's endowments minister, Hamoud al-Hattar, and replaced him with Youth Minister Hamoud Abad.

Al-Hattar was involved in efforts to get the opposition to accept Saleh's recent offer of dialogue.

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