Saleh arrives in S Arabia for treatment

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has left for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment after he sustained injuries in a mortar attack on his presidential compound.

The Saudi royal court said on Sunday that Saleh arrived in Saudi Arabia along with other top Yemeni officials to be treated for wounds they suffered in Friday’s rocket attack on the presidential palace, Reuters reported.

Saleh sustained neck and chest injuries in the attack in the capital, Sana’a. However, shortly after the attack, Yemen’s state media said Saleh suffered minor injuries and aired an audio message from him saying he was in good condition.

Several Yemeni high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar and Parliament Speaker Yahya al-Raiee, were wounded in the shelling, which also left at least seven presidential guards dead.

According to a medical source, the speakers of both houses of parliament, the deputy prime minister and other officials have also been evacuated from Sana’a to neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Yemeni Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has reportedly taken over as acting president and supreme commander of the armed forces.

However, Saleh’s Son, Ahmed, is believed to be in the capital to grab power in the event his father does not manage to return to Yemen.

In the wake of the rocket attack on the presidential palace, Saudi King Abdullah intervened and brokered a ceasefire between the Yemeni government and dissident tribesmen.

However, more clashes erupted between Yemeni government troops and opposition tribesmen in Sana’a on Saturday.

The residence of tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar in the capital was shelled, apparently in retaliation for Friday’s attack on the presidential palace.

Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in Yemen’s major cities since late January, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding the ouster of President Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.


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