SANAA, Yemen, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounded in an attack three months ago, returned to Yemen from Saudi Arabia where he was treated, officials said Friday.
The Yemen Post reported Saleh's return was marked by celebratory firing of heavy artillery throughout the country, which has been racked by violence since the June 3 attempt to assassinate the 69-year-old leader. Opposition activists have been calling for him to relinquish the power he has held since 1978.
The Post said his arrival was announced by Yemeni state TV, the Interior Ministry and the state-run Saba News Agency.
"Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of the republic, returned this morning to the land of the nation safely after a trip for treatment in Riyadh that lasted more than three months," the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Yemen Television said.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on Saleh to "maintain the course towards a swift political agreement in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative," the Kuwait News Agency reported.
Ashton's spokesperson Michael Mann said: "The interests of the nation and of the Yemeni people must come first. A turnaround in Yemen's fortunes on many fronts -- economic, political and humanitarian -- is essential for the security and livelihoods of millions of Yemenis."