"President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned Friday to the Yemeni capital after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a surprise move that could further enflame violence between forces loyal to him and his opponents.
"Saleh left Yemen for Saudi Arabia in June after he was seriously injured in an attack on his presidential compound in the capital Sanaa. During his absence, the country further slipped into chaos after the protests that erupted in February demanding an end to his 33-year old rule.
"But the violence took a serious turn this week after a regionally-sponsored, U.S.-backed deal to transfer power hit a new snag.
"Saleh had repeatedly refused to sign the deal, and has recently delegated his deputy to restart negotiations with opponents on the deal. It was considered another stalling tactic by Saleh that was followed by a violent crackdown on protesters and the most violent bout of fighting between Saleh loyalists and his armed opponents.
"Sanaa has been gripped by street battles and exchanges of shelling between the elite Republican Guards, led by Saleh's son, and tribesmen opposing Saleh as well as military units who had defected."