Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed on Tuesday to return home from Saudi Arabia, a move which could set off a violent new phase in the impoverished country's six-month uprising seeking to topple his regime.
Security across Yemen has collapsed during the revolt, with al Qaeda-linked militants controlling entire towns in the south and anti-government tribes clashing with forces elsewhere. In the last two days, at least 33 were killed in north of the capital.
Saleh, Yemen's ruler for 33 years, has maintained power throughout the uprising despite massive protests, defections by military commanders, growing international pressure to transfer power and a bomb attack on his palace that left him grievously injured. He has been in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, recovering from severe burns and other wounds since June 5.
In a televised address from the Saudi capital, Saleh vowed to return home, telling his supporters: "See you soon in Sanaa."