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Breakaway general tells Saleh to step down

Tribesmen celebrate in Yemen's second-largest city Taez (Taiz), a flashpoint of anti-regime demonstrations south of the capital Sanaa, on June 5, 2011, as hundreds of people took to the streets to celebrate the departure of long term President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounded in a blast June 3, and who left for treatment in Saudi Arabia. UPI\Mohammad Abdullah
Tribesmen celebrate in Yemen's second-largest city Taez (Taiz), a flashpoint of anti-regime demonstrations south of the capital Sanaa, on June 5, 2011, as hundreds of people took to the streets to celebrate the departure of long term President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounded in a blast June 3, and who left for treatment in Saudi Arabia. UPI\Mohammad Abdullah | License Photo

SANAA, Yemen, July 7 (UPI) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh should make the honorable move of stepping aside, a military leader who joined the opposition said.

Yemeni Gen. Ali Mohsen bolstered opposition forces when he joined their ranks after pro-government forces killed more than 50 protesters in March. He was reportedly training members of the youth movement in the country to attack infrastructure in Sanaa.

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He told the Yemen Post he didn't join the opposition to back the emerging power center in the country.

"I did not join the revolution to gain power," he was quoted as saying. "I was very powerful even before I joined the revolution."

He said Saleh should make an honorable exit from power after serving as the country's president for more than 30 years.

Saleh, recovering from wounds suffered during a June 3 attack on his presidential compound, hasn't signed on to a deal for his exit that was brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The government wants Saleh to stay in power for six months if he signs the GCC deal. Opponents say that's unreasonable considering the deal would usher the president out of the political arena.

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