Protesters Urge Yemen’s Interim Leader to Start Transition

Posted June 8th, 2011 at 8:35 am (UTC-5)
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Anti-government protesters in Yemen are urging the country's interim leader to form a transition council that would create a new government, while President Ali Abdullah Saleh recovers from serious injuries in Saudi Arabia.

Demonstrations continued on Wednesday outside of Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur Hadi's residence in the capital, Sana'a. However, soldiers moved in and cleared out tents that had been set up by some of the protesters.

Meanwhile, Saudi officials say Mr. Saleh is in “stable” condition as he recovers from injuries sustained during a rocket attack on the presidential palace last week.

Yemeni officials initially said the president had shrapnel wounds. However, U.S. and Yemeni officials later said that President Saleh's injuries were more severe.

On Tuesday, diplomatic sources said he had burns over 40 percent of his body, including his face, neck and chest. He also is believed to have suffered a serious head injury.

Anti-government unrest has continued in Yemen in the president's absence.

On Tuesday, there was more fighting in Taiz, Yemen's second-largest city. Also, government forces clashed with militants in the southern city of Zinjibar, more than a week after hundreds of suspected Islamic militants seized control of the town.

Nearly 400 people have been killed since a popular uprising against Mr. Saleh began in January. The president is facing increased calls to accept a peace deal put forward by the Gulf Cooperation Council that would end his nearly 33-year rule.