Yemen's Saleh speaks after attack by 'outlaw gang'

June 3, 2011 22:52

Saleh lightly injured in attack on presidential palace in Sanaa; nine people killed in attack; vows to find culprits.

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Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

SANAA - Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who suffered minor injuries in an attack at the presidential palace on Friday, said in a brief speech that the attack was by an "outlaw gang" of his tribal foes.

Speaking only via audio in a televised speech, Saleh blamed the attack on the powerful Hashed tribe led by Sadeq al-Ahmar who has been battling Saleh loyalists in Sanaa.

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"I salute our armed forces and the security forces for standing up firmly to confront this challenge by an outlaw gang that has nothing to do with the so-called youth revolution," Saleh said.

"Seven officers were martyred. We will follow these culprits sooner or later in cooperation with all security services."

Saleh said seven were killed in the attack on the presidential compound, which state media said was an explosive device shot into a mosque within the compound.

Saleh suffered minor injuries but is in "good health", the deputy information minister earlier told a news conference. In Sanaa, thousands have fled for safety, the latest escalation in an uprising against Saleh's rule that began in January.

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