Yemen VP Takes Over as Saleh Leaves Country

President takes family, spurring speculation he will step down
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2011 5:40 AM CDT
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, center, waving to his supporters during a rally in late April. Saleh was injured in a rocket attack Friday and has left for Saudi Arabia for treatment.   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
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(Newser) – Yemen's No. 2, Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has temporarily taken control of the country following the exit of Yemen's president to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, reports al-Jazeera. Opposition groups cheered today at news of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure, with speculation rampant that the rocket attack that injured Yemen's leader Friday could mean the end of his rule.

"Today, Yemen is newborn," sang dozens of young people in Sanaa's University Square, center of the four-month uprising against Saleh's 33-year rule. "This is it, the regime has fallen," others chanted. Saleh reportedly left Yemen with 24 members of his family, furthering speculation that he's gone for good.

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