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via BBC News

Confusion reigns in Yemen after President Ali Abdullah Saleh flew to Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment, a day after he was wounded.

Questions are being asked whether Mr Saleh – who has several times promised to give up power – will return, a BBC correspondent in Yemen says.

His departure leaves him in a much weakened position.

An uprising demanding that Mr Saleh leave power has led to violence bringing Yemen close to civil war.

Yemen’s acting president – previously the vice-president who under the constitution replaces Mr Saleh in his absence – Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has taken over, including command of the armed forces and security services.

He is to meet members of the military and Mr Saleh’s sons, al-Arabiya television is reporting, quoting sources.

He has held talks with the US ambassador in Yemen – in what will be seen as support for the handover of power, says BBC Middle East correspondent Jon Leyne in Cairo.

Everything suggests that Mr Saleh’s visit to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment will be a one-way trip, our correspondent says.

If President Saleh is gone for good, a new battle for power will begin, with the vice-president, President Saleh’s eldest son, tribal leaders and a popular protest movement attempting to take control, he adds.

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