Yemini President Saleh Injured
On June 3rd the president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh was seriously injured in what appears to have been a bombing on the presidential palace. The following day Saleh, aged 69, was evacuated from the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, and transported to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. He apparently suffered critical head injuries as well as upper body burns.
Supporters of Saleh may be in denial, insisting that the president will return to his post “soon.” Saleh’s opponents do not believe this prediction will come to pass.
Yemen in Trouble
This latest development has left an already overburdened Yemen with an even gloomier prospect for stability and prosperity. Since February the country, among the world’s poorest, has been embroiled in an internal struggle for control, bringing it to the brink of collapse. This latest development can very well be the last straw.
Saleh’s regime is fighting off a list of opponents, from demonstrators to army defectors to tribal enemies in the capital. In the southern part of the country the US has been using unmanned drones to strike against al-Qaida targets in an effort to contain the rebellious southern citizens and prevent al-Qaida from seizing more power than what it already has.
“The situation is uncertain. Everyone thinks that everyone else is ‘cooking’ something,” said Hamza Shargabi, a surgeon, speaking from Sanaa. “(It) is still very, very tense in so many places around the country.”
Shargabi added that in Yemen’s third largest city, Taiz, population 430,000, government tanks have attacked crowds of protestors.