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Friday
Sep232011

President Saleh Returns to Yemen After Three Months

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA'A, Yemen) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned to Sana’a after three months in Saudi Arabia, according to Yemen State TV and the Yemen Embassy in Washington.

State TV reports that Saleh arrived by private plane early Friday morning and is in good health.

The embassy statement reads: “Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic of Yemen returned to Yemen after a three month long medical stay in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Saleh has been in Saudi Arabia since June for medical treatment following an assassination attempt -- a bomb attack on the presidential palace that reportedly left the aging president severely injured.

The announcement of his return comes amid a violent week in Yemen.  Over 100 unarmed protesters have been killed this week by the elite Republican Guards, government forces led by Saleh’s son, according to reports.

Yemen TV is filling its early Friday morning broadcast with images of Saleh supporters, but his return could spark further violence.  Local journalists tell ABC News heavy gunfire has already broken out in Sana'a that morning.

Saleh has been clinging to his 33-year rule since January, in the face of violent protests in the gulf’s poorest nation.  Approximately 400 protesters have reportedly been killed since January.  Fifteen people were killed on Thursday and as of 2 a.m. on Friday ET, one person has been killed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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