Friday, June 3, 2011

Yemen president injured in attack

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Source: Press TV

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been injured during a heavy missile attack on the presidential palace in the capital, Sana'a.

Witnesses say the presidential palace was hit by at least two shells on Friday and that heavy clashes are taking place inside the compound.

Yemeni security officials have confirmed the report, saying several high-ranking officials were also wounded after several shells fired by dissident tribesmen hit a mosque in the presidential compound.

A leader of the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) party told AFP that Saleh was "lightly wounded in the back of his head."

"The president, may God protect him, is well and in good health and the news spread by Suhail channel is groundless," state television said shortly after the attack, referring to a opposition-controlled channel.

Suhail channel has claimed that Saleh was killed while trying to get out of the palace.

A source close to the presidency said deputy prime minister General Rashad al-Alimi and Parliament Speaker Yahya al-Raiee were critically wounded in the attack.

According to government sources, Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar, Saleh's private secretary Abdo Burji, Abdulaziz Abdulghani, head of Yemen's consultative council, GPC MP Yasser al-Awadi and Sana'a Governor Noman Duweik were also injured in the attack.

Four presidential guards were also killed in the attack.

The attack on the presidential palace came shortly after forces loyal to Saleh shelled the home of Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar, a brother of the head of powerful Hashid tribal federation whose members have been fighting a deadly battle with the regime in Sana'a over the past two weeks.

Nearly 200 people have been killed during the heavy streets clashes in Sana'a over the past ten days.

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