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Yemeni Shura Council Leader Dies, Saleh's No. 3

emen's third most powerful official has died of wounds sustained during an attack on the presidential palace in June.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/22/2011, 11:45 PM

Yemen's third post powerful official has died of wounds he sustained during an attack by opposition forces on the presidential palace in June.

Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani, who served as the president of Yemen's Shura Council, was being treated at a Riyadh hospital in Saudi Arabia.

His death was announced Monday on state-run Yemen TV by government spokesman Abdu Ganadi, who said the country had lost a leader who served for more than 50 years.

“He is a victim of a terror attack. Yemen lost a leader and the government holds the Ahmar family responsible for his death. The palace attack was planned by the terrorist Ahmar family,” Ganadi said.

The statement referred to the Hashed tribal confederation led by Sadeq al-Ahmar, known as the Hamil al-Ahmar.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has also been receiving treatment in Riyadh since the June 3 attack on the Sana'a palace. Saleh has vowed to return to the capital "soon," to the dismay of those who had written him off following the bombing.

Encouraged by news of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi's fall from power on Monday, however, the Yemen Revolutionary Youth Council announced nevertheless that it expected that Yemen soon would follow Libya's example.

“It is only a matter of time until the Saleh regime faces the same fate,” said Council leader Khaled Anesi. At least 15 of the 18 Yemeni provinces faced anti-government protests on Monday.