Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yemenis demand trial for Saleh aides

Jun 15, 2011

SANAA, Yemen -- Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in nearly every major city Tuesday, demanding trial for the family and close aides of the ailing president.

The protests were the largest since President Ali Abdullah Saleh went abroad for medical treatment after suffering injuries during an attack on his compound. Yemen remains locked in a power struggle between the president's allies and tribesmen demanding an end to the regime's nearly 33-year rule.

In Washington, the State Department's counterterrorism coordinator said the U.S. is worried that the ongoing unrest in Yemen could fuel connections between al-Qaida-linked militants there and al-Shabab insurgents in Somalia.

Residents in Shabwa, one of the al-Qaida strongholds in southern Yemen, are reporting intensified overflights by U.S. drones, suggesting the Americans are keeping close watch on the situation.

Saleh is being treated in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, along with several government officials wounded in the June 3 rocket attack on the presidential compound.

A senior Yemeni official in Riyadh said Saleh had developed a problem with his throat. He did not elaborate.

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