Riyadh: The health of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is being treated in Riyadh for wounds sustained when his palace was shelled, is “stable,” a Saudi official affirmed on Wednesday.
“The condition of the Yemeni president is stable,” the official told AFP requesting anonymity, adding that the veteran leader was waiting for doctors to “appoint a date for cosmetic surgery.”
He said Saleh will undergo a cosmetic operation to treat “light burns on the scalp.” The official also said “reports on the deterioration of his health condition are baseless”.
Saleh was flown to the Saudi capital on Saturday after being wounded the day before when the mosque in his Sanaa presidential compound came under artillery fire.
Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has insisted that Saleh was in good condition and that he will return to Yemen within days.
The Saudi newspaper Al-Watan today quoted a Yemeni diplomat in Riyadh as saying that Saleh’s condition was no longer critical despite his having been “in great danger” earlier.
The diplomat, requesting anonymity, said “a medium-sized and contaminating piece of shrapnel had stayed for more than two days in a sensitive area near (Saleh’s) heart,” before it was removed in a operation at the military hospital in Riyadh, according to Al-Watan.
At least 200 protesters have been killed in Yemen in more than four months of protests demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.
But Saleh has been adamant in refusing to sign a Gulf-brokered deal that would see him quit in return for immunity against prosecution.