Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivered his first video address on Thursday since traveling to Saudi Arabia to be treated for injuries from an attack on his palace compound last month.
During the recorded address, Saleh said he was burned in the attack and has undergone more than eight operations in Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen. Bandages were visible on his hands.
Saleh gave no indication during his brief remarks that he plans to step down in spite of almost daily protests by government opponents over the past five months, and international pressure on him to resign.
He criticized his opponents, saying they had an incorrect understanding of democracy. However, he added that he supports dialogue among Yemen’s various political entities, and welcomes power sharing “within the constitution.”
Mr. Saleh gave no indication about when he would return to Yemen. He turned over his presidential powers to a deputy before departing Sana’a weeks ago.
Thousands of Yemenis have rallied across the country for months, demanding Saleh’s ouster. A series of defections by security forces also have taken place since anti-government protests began in February.
Saleh has resisted international efforts and initiatives by Gulf neighbors to end the political stalemate and set a timetable for him to give up power.
Meanwhile, unrest continues in the country. Officials report two attacks in southern Yemen have left at least 12 soldiers dead.
Suspected al-Qaida militants fired on a vehicle near the city of Lawdar, late Wednesday, killing 10 soldiers. Authorities say two soldiers were killed in a separate incident in the city of Taiz, where tribesmen have been fighting forces loyal to Mr. Saleh. Several civilians were wounded there.
Yemeni state news reports said Thursday that military forces killed a regional al-Qaida leader, Mubarak Firas al-Juhmi, and several associates in clashes near the southern city of Zinjibar.