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Injured Yemen’s PM, officials in Saudi

world Updated: Jun 05, 2011 01:33 IST

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Fresh fighting gripped Sanaa on Saturday as Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed to hit back after he was wounded in shelling of his compound, sparking a deadly tit-for-tat.

His premier, Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar, who suffered facial burns, and four other senior officials also wounded were transferred to Saudi Arabia for treatment, state news agency Saba said.

But Saleh, who has faced four months of protests against his rule, was "stable" in a Sanaa hospital, a medic told AFP a day after the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) said he was "lightly wounded in the back of the head."

His regime has blamed the attack on powerful dissident tribesman Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, whose fighters have battled government forces in Sanaa since a truce crumbled on Tuesday.

In an audio statement on state television late Friday, Saleh said: “I am well, in good health,” and added the bombardment had killed seven people.

Saleh, in power in Sanaa since 1978, hit out at “the sons of Al-Ahmar,” a reference to Sheikh Sadiq and his brothers, and urged “the security forces to purge state institutions of these gangs.”