Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Yemen ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed by rebel forces

A Houthi rebel fighter is seen atop an armoured vehicle in front of the residence of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa Yemen rebel alliance teeters as strongman turns to Saudis
Dexter Carr | 05 December, 2017, 02:11

Houthi-controlled al-Masirah TV cited the interior ministry as announcing the "end of the crisis of the treason militia and the killing of its leader".

As fighting rocked the capital on Monday, the Huthis said Saleh had been killed, and a video they supplied to AFP showed what appeared to be his corpse. Initial reports indicated he was killed by the rebel group, known as the Houthis - a stunning development given that Saleh had been allied with the Houthis until just a few days ago.

Media channels in Iran, whose government backs the Houthis, and al-Arabiya, a Saudi channel, also announced Saleh's death.

Houthis have recently turned on Saleh, however, and said Monday that they had killed their former ally.

Russia Today also, quoting its correspondent, said Saleh may have been at the permanent headquarter of the General People's Congress in Sana'a where he has been killed. The Houthis dominate the northern part of the city, while Saleh's forces hold the southern part, with much of the current fighting concentrated around the Political District, home to ministries and foreign embassies.

"I can hear heavy shelling outside now and know it is too imprecise and too pervasive to guarantee that any of us are safe", she said.

A Houthi militant mans a checkpoint as clashes with forces loyal to Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh continue in Sanaa

The Houthi claim come as tensions soar between the insurgents and the Saudi-led coalition, which imposed a crippling blockade on Yemen in response to a Houthi missile that was intercepted near Riyadh airport on 4 November.

The Saudi-led coalition had been fighting both the Shiite Houthi rebels and Saleh's party in Yemen since March 2015 to support the internationally-recognized government led by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million.

Saleh loyalists and rebel fighters continued to clash on Saturday afternoon in Sanaa, where violence has left at least 40 fighters dead or wounded since Wednesday according to rebel chief Abdulmalik al-Huthi.

Yemen has since been rocked by rebel infighting. His party's alliance with the Houthis disintegrated and the two sides fought bloody clashes in Sanaa, the capital, that killed dozens of people.

Saudi Arabia and the United States have accused Iran of supplying weapons to the Huthis, which Tehran strongly denies.

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