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'Yemen prez in good shape'

Wounded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has not been seen in public since an attack on his palace earlier this month, will make a media appearance in 48 hours, his media secretary said on Sunday. Saleh’s sons must leave

world Updated: Jun 27, 2011 01:31 IST

Wounded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has not been seen in public since an attack on his palace earlier this month, will make a media appearance in 48 hours, his media secretary said on Sunday.

"The president will appear in the next 48 hours despite our fear that the burns on his features and on different parts of his body will be an obstacle, given that his appearance will not be as the media expects it," said Ahmed al-Sufi in a statement.

Saleh, 69, was forced to seek treatment in a Saudi hospital after he was injured earlier this month by a bomb planted in a mosque within the presidential palace. In the days after the attack, Saleh delivered a brief audio message via television.

Sufi said the president was in good health and continued to direct Yemeni affairs from Saudi Arabia. "The arrangements are currently being made for this appearance, which will definitely be followed by important media events," he added.

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Less than 40% of Saleh's body was burnt, a source, said, referring to widely circulated details of Saleh's injuries. Some 39 other Yemenis, including the prime minister, two deputy prime ministers and the speakers of both parliamentary chambers, were also injured and taken for treatment to Saudi Arabia.

Months of protests against Saleh's 33-year rule have sparked deadly clashes between the president's followers and opponents, bringing the country to a standstill and raising concerns that militants will exploit the unrest to gain a foothold in the impoverished state.