Injured Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivered a speech late Friday after shells fired by gunmen of an opposition tribe hit the presidential palace. In his speech, Saleh accused outlaws of attacking his palace, saying they are gangsters who had no relationship with the anti-regime protests.
"What happened today was a conspiracy by defectors and (the opposition leader Hamid) al-Ahmer, but we will pursue them," stated Saleh. "The attackers are just subversives who commit sabotage, occupy public offices and make explosion in many parts of the republic. They never seek proper change, like the youths on the streets," he said.
Saleh noted that he is in good health. Furthermore, the Yemeni leader revealed that seven people died in the blast and other senior officials got only light wounds.
A government official said on condition of anonymity that the president suffered an injury in the back of his head.
In addition to Saleh, Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar, deputy Prime Minister Rashid al-Alami and Parliament Speaker Yahya al-Raiee and several other senior officials were huer in shells hit the walls of a small mosque inside the presidential palace.
Noman Duwaid, governor of capital Sanaa, had one of his hands and one of his legs cut off and deputy Prime Minister al-Alimi got serious injuries, a security official conveyed.