Riyadh: The state of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's health was described as "bad" on Saturday by an informed source in Riyadh, where the beleaguered leader is being treated for bomb attack wounds.
"The information we have says that President Saleh is still in bad condition, mainly as he suffers problems in the lungs and respiration," said the Yemeni expatriate who requested anonymity.
Saleh was flown to Riyadh on June 4 on board a Saudi medical aircraft to be treated, a day after an explosion ripped through a mosque where he was praying inside his Sana;a presidential compound.
Yemeni officials have insisted Saleh is speedily recovering, and tens of thousands of his loyalists took to the streets of the Yemeni capital on Friday after news that he was out of intensive care.
A Saudi official told AFP on Wednesday that the health of Saleh was "stable" and dismissed reports about a deterioration in his health as "baseless." Saleh has not been seen in public since the attack. Several officials, including caretaker Prime Minister Ali Mohammad Mujawar and head of parliament Abdulaziz Abdulghani, were hurt in the bomb and are being treated in Saudi Arabia.
"They were seen in hospital with their bodies entirely covered in wound dressings," the source said referring to the two officials. At least 200 protesters have been killed in Yemen in more than four months of protests demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.
But Saleh has been adamant in refusing to sign a Gulf-brokered deal that would see him quit in return for immunity against prosecution.
30 killed in fighting with militants
Officials say as many as 30 Islamist militants and soldiers have been killed in fighting for control of southern areas in Yemen.
In a twist, local officials say the army commander trying to rout militants from the Zinjibar and Jaar areas has joined a protest movement seeking to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh. General Faisal Ragab, commander of Battalion 119, defected in March.
The Defence Ministry says 21 Al Qaida militants were killed Saturday. Abyan provincial officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorised to release the information, say nine soldiers also were killed.