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Publish Date : Sunday 2 October 2011 - 08:21
Yemenis call for end to Saleh, not Awlaqi
Yemenis call for end to Saleh, not Awlaqi
Islam Times - Yemenis have said that they would rather see an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh's grip on power, instead of witnessing the killing of the suspected al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaqi.
Islam Times: “We are not interested in Anwar al-Awlaqi, this is just one man. Our fight is against the corrupt regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh,” said Walid al-Matari, an anti-government protester in the Change Square in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have since late January held regular rallies in a number of major cities, demanding the ouster of Saleh's regime.

Al-Awlaqi “is not a priority for us. Not many Yemenis know who Awlaqi was anyway. It doesn't matter how many al-Qaeda members are killed as long as the underlying causes that makes extremism thrive exists,” said Nadwa al-Dawsari, a Yemeni citizen in Sana'a.

Nearly 40 percent of Yemenis live on almost a two-dollars-a-day or less pay, and one-third of the population is reportedly at risk of chronic hunger.

Walid Seneb, another Sana'a citizen, said while the Yemenis “don't like these terrorists,” the country is faced with bigger problems.

“There is no water, electricity, everything from the government stopped,” Seneb added.

Meanwhile, numerous others have questioned the timing of the killing, claiming that Saleh has returned from Saudi Arabia with the mission to kill Awlaqi at a time when pressure for his resignation is rising.

“Saleh wanted to show the world he is a hero against al-Qaeda,” said Hussein Mohammed, a hotel owner in Sana'a.

However, Saleh has frequently defied opposition calls to step down.

Al-Awlaqi, one of the CIA's most wanted men, and at least eight of his companions were killed by missiles fired from a drone on Friday.

It has been assumed by many Yemenis that Saleh has for a long time known al-Awlaqi's whereabouts.

Saleh left for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia on June 3, after he sustained injuries following a rocket attack on the presidential palace. He returned to Yemen on September 23.
Story Code: 103070