YEMEN’S Ali Abdullah Saleh suffered far more serious injuries than originally reported during an attack on his presidential palace last week, including burns over 40 per cent of his body and a collapsed lung.
The New York Times said Mr Saleh, who is in the Armed Forces Hospital in Riyadh, had been burned on his face, neck, arms and part of his back, quoting sources speaking on condition of anonymity.
“His face was quite charred,” the paper quoted a Western official as saying. “The burns are serious.”
However, the burns were not life threatening, the Times, said, citing both Yemeni and Western officials.
Mr Saleh was injured in a Friday shelling attack on his presidential compound in the capital, Sanaa, and was transferred to Saudi Arabia for treatment. His government had insisted he would return to Yemen “in days”.
According to CNN, in addition to the burns and collapsed lung, Mr Saleh suffered a shrapnel wound seven centimeters deep.
The Times said there were reports one shard that pierced his body had punctured a lung, but it was not clear if this was the same one.
It also was unclear when Mr Saleh might be able to return to his homeland. Al Jazeera quoted medical sources as saying he would need at least two weeks to recover in Saudi Arabia. The Times said the burns would need three to four months to heal, according to a Yemeni official.