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Dissidents want rapid transfer of power in Yemen

Reuters/Ammar Awad

Dissidents in Yemen called on Monday for a swift transfer of power from President Ali Abdullah Saleh who is in Saudi Arabia after surgery for injuries sustained during an attack on his compound on Saturday. 


A youth committee which has been a key player in opposing Saleh’s 33 years in power urged “all national and political forces to begin with forming an interim presidential council and creating a national transitional council".

The group also urged citizens to celebrate what they described as the ‘ouster of Saleh”.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Yemen’s capital on Sunday to cheer what they said was the end of Saleh’s regime. Hundreds also celebrated in the second-largest city Taez.

The parliamentary opposition has vowed to prevent Saleh’s return from Saudi Arabia. But a spokesman for the ruling General People's Congress, told the al-Arabiya news channel that the president will return to Yemen "within days".

President Saleh underwent two operations on Sunday. The first to remove shrapnel from his chest and the second was neurosurgery to his neck.

A Saudi official said the period of convalescence after these surgeries is two weeks after which he will return home.

Saturday’s attack was blamed on powerful dissident tribal leader Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar who have been fighting government forces in Sanaa since a plan to transfer power failed last month.

Sheik Sadiq’s office agreed on Sunday to a conditional truce, but despite an apparent halt in fighting in Sanaa, snipers shot dead three of the Sheikh’s supporters in the capital on Monday.

Saleh has refused to give up power despite four months of anti-regime protests that have left at least 200 people dead across the country.

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