Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yemeni president arrives in Saudi Arabia injured

.- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has come to Saudi Arabia for treatment for injuries sustained in an attack Friday at the presidential palace said on Sunday the Saudi royal house. Saleh flew to Riyadh, the capital of the kingdom, at a time when, according to Saudi sources, the kingdom got a cease-fire between Saleh and Yemeni tribal federation.

Saleh, whose medical evacuation aircraft was received by a senior Saudi official, walked off the plane but had visible injuries on the neck, head and face, a source told Reuters. Al Jazeera television said that Saleh had been transferred to a military hospital after landing at King Khalid Air Base.

Yemeni Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has taken over as interim president and supreme commander of the armed forces, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday after the president was injured. Washington's top adviser on counterterrorism, John Brennan, spoke Saturday with Yemeni Vice President, said the White House.

The White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor declined to make further comments on the contact with the Yemeni government. Saudi Arabia brokered a new truce between the powerful federation Yemeni tribal forces loyal to Saleh, Saudi source said, and a tribal sheikh said his followers met. Both sides agreed another truce last week, but it only lasted a day before a restart of street clashes in Sana'a, with the most intense clashes since the start of the revolt against the Government 32-year-Saleh.

Seven people were killed when rockets hit what looked like the presidential palace and several government officials were injured. Saleh blamed the assault tribal federation. "The rocket was devastating. It was a clear attempt to assassinate the president," said Abdulla Ali al-Radhi, ambassador of Yemen in the UK.

The BBC reported that the attack almost reached into the heart Saleh and had second degree burns on his chest and face. He said that sources close to the president said on television that Saleh had a piece of shrapnel about 7.6 centimeters long under the heart. After four months of deadly revolt, there is growing concern that Yemen, which is on the brink of financial ruin and home to militants from Al Qaeda, into bankruptcy and endangering the largest oil exporting region in the world and national security.

Saleh's forces have fought back by bombarding the houses of the leaders of the Hashed tribal federation, urban fighting a battle with his forces. Spokesmen for the group said 10 tribesmen were killed and dozens injured, but denied being responsible for the attack on the palace. More and more people Saleh insiders believe the attack may have been led by General Ali Mohsen Saleh who split, joined the demonstrators and called the president a "crazy thirsty for more blood." Saleh has exasperated his former allies, the United States and Saudi Arabia, which eventually saw it as a key partner in the effort to fight Al Qaeda in Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula.

Defying international pressure, Saleh has refused three times to sign a deal brokered by Gulf States would lead him to resign in exchange for immunity from prosecution. At least 420 people have died since the beginning of the uprising against Saleh in January, inspired by movements in Tunisia and Egypt that overthrew their leaders.

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