Yemen president to make TV speech

Ali Abdullah Saleh has not appeared in public since he was wounded in an explosion at his palace last month.


    Yemeni television will air soon a speech by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has not appeared in public since he was wounded in an explosion at his palace last month, the defence ministry has said.

    Saleh "will address the Yemeni people via television in the coming hours," the ministry's website said in a brief statement on Thursday.

    Yemeni television said the speech would be broadcast "during our coming programmes."

    A source close to the presidency told AFP news agency that the speech, recorded on Thursday in Riyadh where Saleh has been receiving medical treatment since June 4, will be aired between 8:00 and 9:00 pm (1700 and 1800 GMT).

    Another statement on Yemen television read: "The interior ministry warns Yemenis not to fire gunshots in the air to express their happiness at President Ali Abdullah Saleh's health and his speech to the people this evening."

    Uncertainty has prevailed over Saleh's health, given that he has not been seen in public since the attack amid conflicting reports about his condition.

    Meanwhile, at least 11 people have been killed and eight wounded in two attacks in southern Yemen.

    Al-Qaeda is suspected to have carried out an ambush that killed 10 soldiers on Wednesday, according to a Yemeni military official.

    The fighters opened fire on the vehicle in which the soldiers were travelling near the southern city of Loder in Abyan province, killing them all, the official told the AFP news agency.

    Only the driver survived, although he was wounded, a medical official said.

    A witness said he saw three armed men shoot at the soldiers, adding that they prevented people from carrying away the soldiers' bodies, only allowing them to take the driver to hospital in Loder.

    An official at the hospital confirmed the wounded driver was admitted to the facility, which also later received the bodies of the soldiers after the attackers left the scene of the shooting.

    Shelling in Taiz

    Later during the day, one person was killed and seven others injured after a rocket hit a bus in the city of Taiz.

    A journalist in Taiz speaks about Wednesday's attack.

    The rocket apparently was fired at a local sheikh's home but missed its target.

    A local journalist told Al Jazeera that the city had come under several rocket attacks on Wednesday.

    "Last night the city experienced serious shelling. There were four targets, one of them was a hospital... Medics say three people's conditions are very serious," the reporter said.

    She said the sheikh who was targeted had "since the 29th of May, decided to protect what he calls the 'peaceful protesters' here in Taiz".

    The government in Sanaa often blames attacks in the country's south on Al-Qaeda.

    But critics of the government say it is a ploy by the authorities to discredit ongoing protests against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and Agencies


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