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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yemen President Saleh leaves Saudi hospital: sources!


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By Mohamed Sudam and Mohammed Ghobari, RIYADH/SANAA, reuters.com / Sun Aug 7, 2011 10:40am EDT.

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks during an interview broadcast on Yemen's state TV in this still image taken from file video July 7, 2011. REUTERS/Yemen
Credit: Reuters/Yemen.
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks during an interview broadcast on Yemen's state TV in this still image taken from file video July 7, 2011.


(Reuters) - Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh left hospital in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, government and medical sources said, two months after suffering severe injuries in an assassination attempt at his palace compound in Sanaa.

The sources said Saleh was walking and in "good condition" as he headed to a government residence in the Saudi capital Riyadh. It is not yet clear when the 69-year-old leader will return to Yemen, which has been paralyzed by over six months of protests against his 33-year rule.

Saleh's impoverished Arabian Peninsula country has been in a political stalemate since he was flown out in June after a bomb blast inside the mosque at his presidential compound.

As efforts to negotiate Saleh's exit stalled after the attack, clashes with Islamist militants in the south and pro-opposition tribesmen around Sanaa have risen. This has revived the risk of civil war in the country, which had pulled back from the brink after fierce fighting in Sanaa three months ago.

Neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United States, both targets of foiled attacks by al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, have pushed for the signing of a Gulf-brokered power transition plan.
Saleh, who has vowed to return to rule Yemen since his attack, has backed out of signing the deal three times.

A period of relative calm during Saleh's convalescence has been threatened by rising clashes around Sanaa and in the protest hotbed of Taiz, about 200 km (120 miles) to the south.


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