SANAA (AFP) - Yemens embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Sunday sacked his government in the face of massive protests demanding his resignation, the state news agency Saba reported. The president has dismissed the government but asked the cabinet to remain in a caretaker position until a new one is formed, Saba said. The announcement came as tens of thousands of people turned out in Sanaa on Sunday for the funerals of many of the 52 people gunned down by Saleh loyalists two days earlier. The victims were killed on Friday when snipers raked demonstrators near Sanaa University square with bullets from surrounding rooftops. The protest movement against Saleh started in late January. The opposition says the president a key US ally in the war against Al-Qaeda in the region must resign this year, but he has refused to leave until his current term expires in 2013. Saleh has been in power since 1978. Witnesses said it was the biggest gathering of opponents of President Ali Abdullah Salehs autocratic regime since a protest movement started in Yemen in late January and escalated into violence a month ago. About 30 bodies were laid out in rows and the square near Sanaa University overflowed with mourners, who gathered under tight security and despite Yemen's state of emergency. Saleh suffered a further blow with the resignation on Sunday of Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Alsaidi, and human rights minister Huda al-Baan in protest at the deadly attacks on demonstrators. Abdullah Alsaidi has submitted his resignation to protest at the use of violence against demonstrators, a foreign ministry official said. Waving Yemeni flags and shouting slogans denouncing the regime, the mourners formed a massive procession as they carried the bodies in coffins on their shoulders to the cemetery. Ali, the blood of the martyrs will not be in vain, they chanted, referring to the president. Meanwhile, Syrian security forces fired on thousands of demonstrators Sunday in the town of Daraa, killing one and wounding around 100, two of them critically, a rights activist at the scene said. Daraa, south of the capital Damascus, has turned into a volcano, the witness told AFP by telephone. A protester was killed today by live bullets. His name is Raed Akrad, he said, adding that two others wounded in the head were in critical condition. Earlier he reported that more than 100 people were wounded when security forces fired live bullets and tear gas at thousands of demonstrators who gathered in Daraa for a third consecutive day of protests. The army surrounds the town but it has not intervened, he said. He said tensions were very high in Daraa and anger flared as a top-ranking government delegation arrived to pay condolences to families of demonstrators killed by security forces on Friday. Hundreds of protesters set alight to the courthouse, other buildings and cars in the southern Syrian town of Daraa on Sunday during violent protests, an AFP correspondent said. The protesters in Daraa, where four other people were killed on Friday, according to rights groups, have been demanding an end to 48 years of emergency law, the release of political prisoners and greater freedoms. An AFP correspondent in Daraa said protesters also torched offices of mobile phone providers MTN and Syriatel and tried to march on the home of the towns governor, but security forces used warning shots and tear gas to stop them. Several hundred protesters set off from the towns old city and started torching buildings, cars and the courthouse despite attempts by security forces to disperse them.