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Saleh operation called success; Yemen opposition opposes his return

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SANAA – Yemen’s opposition vowed Sunday to prevent the return of wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh from a Saudi hospital, as tens of thousands of protesters celebrated despite doubts over who holds the reins of power in Sanaa.

Anti-government protesters and tribesmen celebrate in Taez. Yemen's opposition vowed to prevent the return of wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh from a Saudi hospital. / AFP/Mohammed Huwais

“We will work with all our strength to prevent his return,” parliamentary opposition spokesman Mohammed Qahtan told AFP. “We see this as the beginning of the end of this tyrannical and corrupt regime.”

But a spokesman for the rival ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) told Al-Arabiya news channel: “President Saleh will return to Yemen within days.”

Saleh was operated on twice on Sunday, a Saudi official in Riyadh told AFP.

“President Saleh underwent two operations that were successful. The first was to remove a piece of shrapnel from his chest, and the second was neurosurgery to his neck.

“The next procedure will be for cosmetic surgical purposes. The period of convalescence is two weeks, after which he will return to Sanaa,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

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