Yemen Says Wounded President Remains in Country

Posted June 4th, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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The Yemeni government is denying reports that President Ali Abdullah Saleh is among a group of high-level officials who have gone to Saudi Arabia for treatment for wounds suffered in a rocket attack on the presidential compound Friday.

A government official said Saturday that Mr. Saleh is undergoing treatment at a military hospital in the capital, Sana'a. However, state-run media reports say the country's prime minister and at least four other high-ranking officials have sought treatment in the neighboring country.

Meanwhile, clashes continued on Saturday in Sana'a, where forces loyal to the president have been shelling homes of anti-government leaders.

The home base of dissident tribesman Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar is among those targeted. He is a leader of what Mr. Saleh has called “a gang of outlaws” who carried out Friday's attack on the presidential compound. Tribal officials said Saturday that 10 people had been killed and 35 wounded in the government's overnight shelling in al-Ahmar's neighborhood.

Separately, government and opposition leaders say security forces have withdrawn from the southern city of Taiz, a flashpoint of anti-government protests. The Reuters news agency quotes an opposition leader as saying looting and other unrest have been spreading in the city since the forces pulled out.

The ongoing conflict between forces loyal to Mr. Saleh and anti-government rebels has led to to fears the country may be on the brink of civil war. Mr. Saleh has three times over the past several weeks defied the Gulf accord that would end his 33-year reign.

Nearly 400 people have been killed since the popular uprising against Mr. Saleh began in January.