Yemeni president arrives in Saudi Arabia

National Yemen

Yemen's president flies to Saudi Arabia

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has flown to Saudi Arabia for urgent treatment after he was hurt in a rocket attack on his palace.

A Saudi medical team was flown to Yemen to treat the president but advised him that he needed to get specialist treatment.

He was taken, along with several other senior regime leaders including the prime minister, Ali Muhammad Mujawar, to Saudi Arabia to be treated for their injuries sustained during Friday’s attack.

Mr Saleh had been first reported to have suffered only minor injuries to his neck after the attack by opposition forces on his presidential palace.

Yemeni state television issued a statement claiming the nation’s president was in ‘good health’ after the attack

There were celebrations in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, Taiz, Aden, Hodeidah and some other Yemeni cities ¬†following Saleh’s departure, with thousands of people on the streets chanting and waving flags and banners.

Analysts fear that a sudden departure by Saleh, after 33 years in power, would leave a political vacuum and create even deeper chaos in Yemen, where the government has already lost control of some outlying provinces and al-Qaida and other jihadists have appeared to exploit the political turmoil to move more freely.

There were reports on Sunday morning of heavy gunfire and explosions in Sana’a, just a day after a truce brokered by King Abdullah, who intervened in the conflict after almost four months of largely peaceful protests against Saleh spun out of control into an increasingly bloody civil conflict.