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Yemen's Saleh is 'politcally dead'

An image grab taken from Yemen's state television shows Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivering a televised speech from the Saudi capital Riyadh on July 7, 2011 as he made his first TV appearance since he was wounded in an explosion at his palace in Sanaa last month. UPI/Ismael Mohamad.
An image grab taken from Yemen's state television shows Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivering a televised speech from the Saudi capital Riyadh on July 7, 2011 as he made his first TV appearance since he was wounded in an explosion at his palace in Sanaa last month. UPI/Ismael Mohamad. | License Photo

SANAA, Yemen, July 13 (UPI) -- Violence in Yemen has escalated since the Yemeni president made his first televised appearance since the June 3 bombing on his compound, observers say.

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is recovering in Saudi Arabia from burns and shrapnel wounds suffered during a June 3 attack on his presidential compound in Sanaa.

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He appeared heavily bandaged on state television last week, marking his first formal appearance since the June attack.

The United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN said witness accounts state that "dozens" of people have been killed or injured since Saleh's July 7 television appearance. At least five people were killed last week when Republican Guard forces, controlled by the president's son Ahmad, clashed with anti-government protesters in the south.

Since the June attack, Washington has pressured Saleh to sign a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council. Saleh expressed interest in some form of political transition but has refused to sign the GCC deal.

Mohammed al-Dhahri, a political science professor and anti-government activist, told IRIN that Saleh's days were numbered.

"Saleh is physically alive but politically dead," he was quoted as saying.

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