Anti-government protests against the 33-year rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh are frequent in Yemen [Reuters] 

The speaker of Yemen's appointed upper house of parliament has died in Saudi Arabia from injuries suffered in a June assassination attempt on President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Abdul Aziz Abdul-Ghani, the chairman of Yemen's Shura (Consultative Council) is the first senior political figure to have died from the explosion in Saleh's palace mosque which forced the president and a number of his aides to seek medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

A former prime minister and vice president of North Yemen before the unification of Yemen in 1990, Abdul-Ghani was appointed the chairman of the Consultative Council in 2003.

Abdul-Ghani's body is scheduled to arrive in Yemen on Tuesday for a burial on Wednesday in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

Yemen, an impoverished country of 23 million at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, has been in turmoil since January when protesters took to the streets demanding Saleh leave office.

Saleh who was seriously wounded in the June attack is still receiving medical treatment in Riyadh. There are conflicting reports about whether he intends to return to Yemen.

A massive demonstration was held on Monday in the Taiz province in southern Yemen to celebrate the Libyan revolution and also to demand Saleh's prosecution and the prompt removal of his regime.

"This rally is to show our happiness and send our greetings to the Libyan people for this tremendous and historical step," said protestor Alwan al-Qubati.

Source: Agencies