Yemeni vice president is acting president: Al Jazeera

June 5th, 2011 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Yemeni Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has assumed the role of acting president and supreme commander of the armed forces, Al Jazeera reported Sunday, citing anonymous sources.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh suffered injuries in a rocket attack on his presidential palace in the capital Sana’a Friday. He has reportedly travelled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

The rocket attack on a mosque inside the palace, where Saleh and top government officials were offering Friday prayers, killed at least three bodyguards and wounded several senior officials.

Some of the initial media reports said Saleh himself had been killed in the attack, but the Yemeni state television was quick to deny the allegations, saying that the president was “well”.

Anti-government protests against Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, have been taking place for nearly five months. The protests have recently escalated to frequent gun battles between Saleh loyalists and hundreds of members of Yemeni opposition tribal groups.

More than 120 people have been killed over the last week, pushing Yemen to the brink of a civil war.

A source in the Russian foreign ministry told RIA Novosti Saturday that Russia had recalled 14 members of its diplomatic staff from Yemen and was considering evacuation of all Russian citizens from the troubled country.

No Russian had been injured so far in the protests in Yemen, he added.

–(IANS/RIA Novosti)

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