June 17 - Duel rallies took place in Sanaa Friday as wounded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh plots his return to the country. Jon Decker reports.
In the capital of Sanaa, thousands of government supporters rallied following Friday prayers in a show of support for wounded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Loyalists waved the national flag and chanted pro-Saleh slogans. Meanwhile, in another part of the capital, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, angered at the prospect of Saleh's return, also took to the streets of the city. Demonstrators performed prayers and later chanted for a fresh start to government rule. A Yemeni government spokesman said Friday that suggestions that the president would not return were untrue and were a bid to damage relations between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YEMEN'S DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, ABDO AL-JANADI, SAYING: "We are largely preparing to celebrate the return of president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the coming few days, they are official and popular preparations, it will be the return of the victories." The fate of Saleh, forced to undergo surgery in Saudi Arabia after an attack on his palace, is at the center of a political crisis that has paralyzed Yemen and threatened to tip it into civil war. Jon Decker, Reuters.