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Middle East
Yemen President Saleh leaves Saudi hospital
Wounded leader reported to have been taken to temporary residence in Saudi capital of Riyadh to recover from injuries.
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2011 20:41

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has left a Saudi hospital two months after he was badly wounded in a bomb attack, Yemen's official news agency said.

The SABA news agency confirmed on Sunday a Saudi report that the president had left hospital in Riyadh after having "recovered" from his wounds, adding that he was convalescing at a Saudi palace.

"The doctors allowed him to leave the hospital for convalescence, but he will return from time to time for consultations, monitoring, and for medical tests," the agency reported.

On Saturday, a Saudi official in Riyadh told the AFP news agency: "The Yemeni president left the military hospital this (Saturday) evening at 18:00 GMT after receiving the necessary treatment and was taken to a temporary residence for a recovery period."

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not say how long Saleh would stay on in the kingdom, which neighbours Yemen where an uprising against his rule broke out at the end of January.

"Saleh has left hospital after his health conditions improved and is staying at the Conferences Palace in Riyadh, but he still has problems with his legs," the Saudi official said.

He said Prime Minister Ali Mujawar, who was also hit in the attack, "remains in hospital... and is expected to leave within a couple of days," while Yemen's consultative council head, Abdulaziz Abdulghani, was still in "intensive care."

Talk of amnesty

Saleh appeared on television on July 7 for the first time since the June 3 bombing, covered in bandages.

He accused "elements of terrorism" of having targeted him in the bomb attack, without specifying the identity of the assailants.

For more on Yemen, visit our Spotlight page
Three days later, he was shown on television receiving John Brennan, The White House's top counter-terrorism adviser.

Saleh was in better shape than in his earlier appearance, although burns on his face were still visible.

The White House said Brennan called on Saleh to sign a transition plan sponsored by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council that would see him cede power within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Since Saleh's departure to Saudi Arabia, Yemeni vice president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has assumed power in Sanaa but without being designated as de facto head of state.

The opposition, meanwhile, has called for the creation of an interim council, to prevent the return of Saleh who has defiantly clung to power.

Since January, protesters across Yemen have been calling for Saleh to step down.

Uprising continues

The announcement about Saleh came as forces loyal to him fought in the capital with those of the Ahmar family, a major power within Yemen's Hashed tribal confederation, witnesses said.

The two sides were said to have traded fire in the Hassaba district of Sanaa, where prominent members of the Ahmar family reside.

The exchange marked a second day of confrontation in the area, though there were no reports of casualties.

Weeks of fighting between Saleh's forces and those of the Ahmar family have left parts of Sanaa in ruins.

The recent violence ends an uneasy ceasefire after the bombing of Saleh's compound in June.

Separately, one protester was killed and three injured in the southern city of Taiz, when forces loyal to the president opened fire to scatter an anti-Saleh demonstration, witnesses said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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