Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh was burned on more than 40% of his body and suffered bleeding in the brain from last weekend’s attack on his palace, US officials said, indicating his wounds were worse than initially reported.
The revelation casts doubts on a quick return to Yemen and spells a deepening power vacuum.
In the wake of Saleh’s evacuation to Saudi Arabia for treatment, Yemen’s violence escalated, with government troops battling Islamic militants and opposition tribesmen in two southern cities on Tuesday.
The military said it killed 30 militants who were among a group that took over the city of Zinjibar last week amid the country’s turmoil.
The United States fears that al Qaida’s branch in Yemen – one of the terror network’s most active, blamed for two attempted anti-US attacks – will take advantage of the chaos to strengthen its base in the country.
Washington and Saudi Arabia are pushing Yemeni officials to seize the opportunity of Saleh’s evacuation to immediately begin a transfer of power and formation of a new government.
The US ambassador in Sanaa spoke with Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is acting president, to press the American view, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters in Washington.
Mr Toner said he was not sure how long Saleh would undergo treatment in Saudi Arabia, or whether he still planned on returning. But he said Yemen needed to move forward in the meantime. “We need to see all sides moving forward on a constructive basis,” he said.
Friday’s attack on Saleh’s palace compound came amid two weeks of battles in Sanaa between government forces and opposition tribesmen determined to drive him from power.
The fighting pushed the impoverished country closer to civil war after four months of street protests by hundreds of thousands of Yemenis failed to oust Saleh, who has been in power for nearly 33 years.
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Synchronicity?!? Unbelievable . . . but Salleh did survive probably to get dumped by Dr.Evil another day. Salleh is fine btw. So much so it looked like something specially done to make Salleh look like he was injured? Hollywood!
Yea right Salleh looks just fine today . . . hows the French toast? Say hi to Sarkozy for the Middle East . . .
Is Salleh going to be tried for anything? Or will that be holidays and partying in Monaco, Bahamas and jolly London hereon? Or is that another episode of Austin Powers? Armegaddon!!! (Psst, this the realest and most likely, so just hit USA, a massive crater lake in the centre of USA could be helpful and should fill up with lots of fresh water . . . )
2012 (2009 Roland Emmerich) is abit too excessive though the Polar shift thing could well occur . . . how about Disaster Movie (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer 2008)? Now if Iran would revive their Persiatic Padishah Emperor (maybe they need the Peacock Throne to be re-assembled for that line of reality to work though . . . ), they’d have to watch out for the Attreides (who are those? little wonder they need to hit England with nukes . . . ), so guess who plays the Harkonnens . . . ? Oh the red haired peoples AGAIN, give those bushy eyebrowed mentats their cats . . . aren’t some of us glad our countries were not important or pleasant enough to be featured in film? Now we know why the Corexit was dumped into the Gulf of Mexico if that was not another false flag. Don’t be so sure Cthulu was killed yet . . .