Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is “stable” after being treated in Riyadh for bomb wounds, a Saudi official said yesterday.
The veteran leader’s health status has been sketchy since he was flown on Saturday to Riyadh for treatment from wounds sustained in a bomb attack the day before on his presidential compound. He has not been seen in public since.
“The condition of the Yemeni president is stable,” a Saudi official said on condition of anonymity, adding the beleaguered president was waiting for doctors to “appoint a date for cosmetic surgery.”
Saleh, 69, would undergo a cosmetic operation to treat “light burns on the scalp,” he said, adding that “reports on the deterioration of his health condition are baseless.”
On Tuesday, US officials said Saleh was burned over 40 percent of his body and suffered bleeding in the brain from the attack, indicating his wounds were worse than initially reported. The revelation cast doubts on a quick return to Yemen and pointed to a deepening power vacuum.
Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has insisted that Saleh is in good condition and that he will return to Yemen within days.
The Saudi newspaper Al-Watan yesterday quoted a Yemeni diplomat in Riyadh as saying that Saleh’s condition was no longer critical despite his having been “in great danger” earlier.