Yemen official decries US call for Saleh to quit

October 1, 2011 15:49

SANAA - The United States showed a lack of respect for democracy and for its counter-terrorism partners by renewing its call for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, hours after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed with Yemeni help, a Yemeni official said on Saturday.

US officials said a CIA drone strike killed Awlaki, a US-born cleric seen as one of al-Qaida's most eloquent English propagandists, in Yemen's northern al-Jawf province on Friday.

Yemeni security sources said the strike was made possible by intelligence they gathered from a captured al-Qaida operative.

The White House said on Friday Awlaki's killing had not altered its demand that Saleh sign a plan under which he would hand over power. Saleh, who has repeatedly shied away from the Gulf-brokered transition deal, has faced more than eight months of protests by Yemenis demanding an end to his 33-year rule.

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