Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, has been discharged from hospital in Saudi Arabia, raising fears among protesters that he could attempt a dramatic return to his violence-plagued homeland.
By Adrian Blomfield, Middle East Correspondent
07 Aug 2011
Mr Saleh, who has held office since 1978, was moved to a house in Riyadh after recovering from a series of operations to treat wounds he suffered in a bomb attack on his presidential palace in the Yemeni capital Sana'a two months ago.
The president's enforced departure had given rise to hopes that a US-backed plan to end months of protests would finally reach fruition. Under the proposal, Mr Saleh was to hand over power to his vice president until new elections could be held.
With hundreds of thousands of protesters calling for his resignation from the streets, Mr Saleh agreed to the plan three times before he was wounded, only to renege at the last moment on each occasion.
After suffering substantial burns to his face and shrapnel wounds to his body, many had assumed that Mr Saleh would never return to Yemen.
But despite widespread defections in his military high command and in the political and tribal hierarchy, Mr Saleh's powerful family has successfully warded off attempts to seal his overthrow.