Saleh’s Luck, or Whatever Kept Him Alive, Finally Ran Out. What’s Next for Yemen?

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed Dec. 4, speaks during a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of his General People’s Congress party, Sanaa, Yemen, Sept. 3, 2012 (AP photo by Hani Mohammed).
Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed Dec. 4, speaks during a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of his General People’s Congress party, Sanaa, Yemen, Sept. 3, 2012 (AP photo by Hani Mohammed).
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Five years ago, on a hazy summer afternoon in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, a security guard at the presidential palace led me around its mosque, which had been the site of a 2011 assassination attempt against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh during the height of the Arab Spring protests. The shoes of the men who were killed in the bombing—a who’s who of Yemen’s ruling party—were still piled outside the mosque’s entrance. Saleh was very lucky that day. He had been standing near the mosque’s doorway, away from the center of the room that had taken the brunt of the explosion, the […]

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