Chaos in Yemen; Saleh’s return date uncertain

Yemen`s President Ali Abdullah Saleh was injured in an attack on his palace in early June.

Last Updated: Jun 30, 2011, 09:22 AM IST

Washington: Yemen’s Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said on Wednesday that the country`s President was so severely injured in an assassination attempt that he did not know when he would return, CNN reported.

Yemen`s President Ali Abdullah Saleh was injured in an attack on his palace in early June and is receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

Hadi told CNN in an interview that he saw Saleh immediately after the bomb attack and the Yemeni leader had a piece of wood between his ribs in his chest and burns to his face, arms and upper body.

Yemen has been shaken by months of protests against Saleh`s three-decade rule.

Saleh sent a message through his foreign minister who delivered it on state television on Wednesday calling for dialogue with the opposition to implement a Gulf-brokered plan for transition of power.

Hadi said according to the doctors no one can tell when Saleh might return. "Days, weeks, months," he said through a translator. "It could be months, this is a decision up to the doctors."

Months of popular protests calling for Saleh’s resignation have brought near chaos to Yemen, which is home to al Qaeda`s potent regional wing.

The Yemeni Army has been battling hundreds of Islamist militants affiliated to al Qaeda who seized control of the southern city of Zinjibar and smaller towns in the province of Abyan. The United States and Saudi Arabia fear that al Qaeda will exploit the country`s chaos to launch attacks.

Bureau Report