Feb. 27 - Yemen holds funerals for 21 soldiers killed in a suicide bombing claimed by al Qaeda -- as Yemenis continue to press for change. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Funerals in Yemen. On Monday, Yemen held funerals for 21 soldiers who were killed in a suicide bombing two days ago. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack, which came just hours after a new President was sworn into office. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took over from Ali Abdullah Saleh, his predecessor of 33 years. He said Yemen faces a quote "complex and difficult phase" after a year of violent political turmoil over Saleh's fate. 26 people were killed in the attack. (SOUNDBITE ) (Arabic) DEFENCE MINISTER, MOHAMED DHAIFALLA, SAYING: "It is a sad day. This is a criminal act committed by al Qaeda, but we assure everybody that the armed forces will stand against them, and it will punish them back." . Yemenis gathered outside the new president's house demanding change. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOHAMED GHALEB, PROTESTER, SAYING: "We took to street today to ask new president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to achieve the rest of the goals of the revolution. The Yemeni people ensured this by taking part in the February 21st presidential election, and voted for Hadi , in order to overthrow corruption, dictatorship and family regime." Saleh returned to Yemen last week from the United States. He has said he will stay on the political scene as leader of his General People's Congress party, casting doubt on his commitment to relinquishing power. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.