Yemen's President shakes up army

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Associated Press

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's president has ordered a shake-up of the country's Defense Ministry, removing the powerful son, relatives and aides of the ousted leader.

According to Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's orders, the Republican Guard and special forces, which were commanded by ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh's son, Ahmed, merged under the ministry.

Hadi also named a new commander to replace Saleh's nephew, Yahia, as head of the Central Security Forces and merged another unit headed by Yahia, the Anti-Terrorism Force, to the Defense Ministry.

Hadi also removed Saleh loyalists to from top positions in the ministry, such as deputy of chief of staff.

Restructuring the army was a top demand by Yemenis after Saleh's ouster in February. The military is engaged in battles against al-Qaida militants in the south of the country.

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