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Yemen's Saleh has surgery for burns

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Yemen's Saleh has surgery for burns
Tribesmen celebrate in Yemen's second-largest city Taez (Taiz), a flashpoint of anti-regime demonstrations south of the capital Sanaa, on June 5, 2011, as hundreds of people took to the streets to celebrate the departure of long term President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounded in a blast June 3, and who left for treatment in Saudi Arabia. UPI\Mohammad Abdullah | License Photo

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, June 9 (UPI) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has undergone "successful" surgery in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he is being treated for bomb blast wounds, officials said.

Saleh's injuries from last week's blast at his compound are extensive, including burns over 40 percent of his body, the official Saba news agency said.

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The source of the explosion that killed several guards and the mosque's imam and injured several other government officials remains unknown, al-Arabiya reported Thursday.

Initial reports indicated Saleh suffered burns on his face, neck and arms when the blast struck at the palace mosque during prayers.

However, diplomats said burns also covered some of his back and some reports indicated a shard of wood punctured a lung, The New York Times reported.

"His face was quite charred," a Western official said anonymously. "The burns are serious; he is not as well as his aides are portraying it."

Saleh was flown to Riyadh Saturday with about a dozen political supporters including the speaker of Parliament, the leader of the Shura council, and two deputy prime ministers, including Sadiq Ameen Abu Ras, who lost a leg in the blast, al-Arabiya reported.

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