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President's return welcomed after week of violence in Yemen

Mohammed Huwais / AFP - Getty Images

Supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh gather in a main square in Sanaa on Sept. 23 to celebrate his return to Sanaa, even as his forces were battling dissident troops in the capital.

Mohammed Huwais / AFP - Getty Images

Yemeni security forces and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh carry the coffins of comrades killed in recent battels with dissidents during a mass funeral in Sanaa on Sept. 23. The funeral coincided with a rally held in the capital to welcome the president's return home after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

Yahya Arhab / EPA

Men shout slogans celebrating the return of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Sept. 23. According to media reports, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned to the capital Sanaa after more than three months in Saudi Arabia, where he had undergone treatment for injuries sustained in a bomb attack on the presidential palace in early June.

from msnbc.com news services:

President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned Friday to the violence-torn Yemeni capital after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a surprise move certain to further enflame battles between forces loyal to him and his opponents.

 Saleh left Yemen for Saudi Arabia in early June after he was seriously injured in a rocket attack on his presidential compound in the capital Sanaa. His departure fueled hopes that he would be forced to step down, but instead he staunchly refused to resign, frustrating protesters who have been taking to the streets nearly daily since February demanding an end to his 33-year old rule.

Yemen slipped deeper into chaos during his absence, even as the United States and Saudi Arabia pushed him to hand over power. The worst violence yet erupted this week with battles between Saleh loyalists and his armed opponents that have so far killed around 100 people, mostly protesters in Sanaa.

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