The Yemeni embassy in Washington insists today that President Ali Abdullah Saleh's health is improving and he will return to power in Sanaa, despite reports he has burns over 40% of his body and a collapsed lung.
"President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s health condition is stable and continues to improve after the deadly attack which targeted Al-Nahdayn Mosque located in the presidential compound," the embassy said in a statement.
"President Saleh will return to Yemen from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to re-assume his duties soon after he recovers," the embassy claimed.
Saleh was taken to a hospital in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for treatment, where he remains today. Initial reports were that he sustained only minor injuries to his neck and face, but then it was disclosed that he also caught shrapnel in his chest.
It turns out Saleh has burns over 40% of his body and a collapsed lung, as well, according to CNN, which cited a U.S. official as its source.
Forensic specialists and Yemeni law enforcement officials are presently combing over the mosque to see if they can determine who was responsible for the apparant assassination attempt on Saleh.
"The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, D.C. strongly condemns the cowardly attack on President Saleh and the worshipers in Al-Nahdayn Mosque during last Friday’s prayer. The perpetrators of this bloody attack will be captured and prosecuted accordingly," the statement said.
Meanwhile, there are fears a humanitarian crisis is brewing in Sanaa and other parts of Yemen. People are stockpiling food and water, staying of the streets and sending loved ones away to safer locations in the countryside, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
"Sanaa is no longer what it used to be – a lively city crowded with people and vehicles throughout the day, and filled with brightly lit shops open until late at night. There is now a high degree of tension in the streets," said Jean-Nicolas Marti, the head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen.
"People are in a constant state of alert in Sana'a and elsewhere in the country," Marti added. "Blasts and gunshots were being heard every day until recently. Everyone was afraid that their home would be the next to be hit by a stray bullet or by something even more terrifying. Although an unusual calm has descended on the city, the nervousness and tension remain palpable."