Presidential Palace Attacked In Yemen

Jun 3, 2011
Originally published on June 3, 2011 3:25 pm

The official line from the government in Yemen is that President Ali Abdullah Saleh is "alive and will soon make a nationwide address," Reuters reports, following word of an attack on the presidential palace and an earlier claim by some in the opposition that he had been killed.

The Associated Press says it's been told by a government official that Saleh was slightly injured. Yemen's deputy prime minister was more seriously injured, according to the official.

According to reports, the palace was most likely shelled by fighters loyal to tribes that have been battling with government forces in recent weeks.

Update at 3:21 p.m. ET. Saleh Issues Audio Message:

The AP is reporting that Yemen's state TV has aired an audio message from President Ali Abdullah Saleh in which he said that "if you are well, I am well." He said it was "armed gangs" who attacked his palace with rockets. The AP reports Saleh "speaks in a labored voice, his breathing at times [heavy]."

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET. Saleh News Conference Postponed:

According to Reuters, a government information official says Saleh is not going to be holding a news conference in the next few hours (as was expected) "due to scratches" he suffered in the attack.

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET. Ruling Party Calls It An "Assassination Attempt":

Al-Arabiya TV reports that "a leading official from Yemen's ruling party said Friday afternoon that President Ali Abdullah Saleh survived an assassination attempt in the capital city of Sana'a. Al Arabiya TV said that Mr. Saleh suffered minor injuries."

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House Calls For Restraint:

"National security council spokesman Tommy Vietor says the U.S. is monitoring reports that President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded Friday, but could not confirm that he was injured. He said the U.S. is 'very concerned' about the escalating violence in Yemen and said the dispute there will only be solved through negotiations." (The Associated Press)

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