Yemen’s Injured President Arrives in Saudi Arabia

Posted June 4th, 2011 at 11:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Saudi officials say Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh is in Saudi Arabia for treatment of injuries he received in a rocket attack Friday.

Yemeni state media said Saturday the country's prime minister and at least four other high-ranking officials had traveled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment after they were wounded in the attack on the presidential compound in Sana'a. It is not clear how badly the Yemeni leaders were hurt.

U.S. officials say President Barack Obama's national security adviser, John Brennan, spoke with Yemen's vice president Saturday. The White House did not offer any details about the conversation between Brennan and Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Earlier Saturday, Yemeni government officials and rebel tribesmen agreed to a new cease-fire brokered by Saudi Arabia.

Representatives of both sides said they will accept the plan. Just a week ago, a similar truce quickly collapsed in renewed fighting between President Saleh's forces and loyalists to an opposition tribal leader, Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar.

Clashes continued Saturday in Sana'a, where Mr. Saleh's forces have been shelling the homes of anti-government leaders. The home base of al-Ahmar was among those targeted.

Tribal officials said 10 people were killed and 35 wounded in the government's shelling of 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Separately, government and opposition leaders say security forces have withdrawn from the southern city of Taiz, a flashpoint of anti-government protests.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 during the past several weeks defied an accord negotiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council to end his 33-year reign.

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