SANAA/RIYADH - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was recovering from an operation in Saudi Arabia to remove shrapnel from his chest while a truce between his troops and a tribal federation appeared to be holding.
Protesters, interpreting Saleh's absence as a sign that his grip on power was weakening, celebrated on the streets of Sanaa where they have been staging anti-government demonstrations since January.
"Who is next?," asked one banner held up by a protesters in a sea of red, white and black Yemeni flags, referring to the wave of uprisings in Arab world that has seen the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt toppled and inspired uprisings elsewhere.
Saleh was wounded on Friday when a rocket was fired into his presidential palace in Sanaa, killing seven others and injuring his closest advisers. He is being treated in a Riyadh hospital.