Yemen's Saleh returns home after U.S. medical visit

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:04pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Yemen's outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, returned to his home in Sanaa late on Friday after receiving medical treatment in the United States, a spokesman for Yemen's embassy in Washington said.

Saleh, 69, arrived in the United States in January to receive treatment for wounds inflicted during an assassination attempt last year.

Saleh is a long-time U.S. ally, but his 33-year rule of Yemen formally ended on Tuesday after an uncontested election. His deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is taking over as president.

Saleh is the fourth veteran Arab leader unseated by "Arab Spring" protests. The United States and oil giant Saudi Arabia fear unrest in impoverished Yemen, which faces a range of security challenges and is the operational base for the regional wing of al Qaeda.

(Reporting By Andrew Quinn; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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