Yemen war: Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh 'killed'

Tabitha Dunn
Декабря 7, 2017

The group would first start with restoring legitimate authority in Yemen and to empower the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

But the Houthis swiftly crushed the pro-Saleh uprising in the capital and killed him.

Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, a rebel leader, said in a speech Tuesday that "some sons" of Saleh have been hospitalized, without providing further details. "He got what he deserved", Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran's supreme leader, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

On Monday, Leader of Yemen's Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, said the movement has managed to thwart a major threat to the country's security by defeating the plot hatched by former president, Saleh, and his militia.

The assault and hostage-taking comes amid heightened tensions after forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh severed ties with the Houthis, sparking days of gun battles and artillery fire in the capital.

At least 13 other journalists and media workers are now held hostage in Yemen by armed groups, including the Houthis and al-Qaeda.

A video provided to AFP by the rebels showed what appeared to be a dead Saleh with a severe head injury, his body wrapped in a floral-print blanket.

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A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen for more than two years.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday, more than 230 people have been killed and around 400 injured in the Yemen war since the beginning of this month.

Saleh's oldest son meanwhile pledged in a declaration sent to Reuters to fight the Houthis and liberate all territory held by the rebels.

The conflict has seen civilians repeatedly killed by bombing and through a lack of access to essential food and clean water.

Saleh's slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the dayslong fighting for the country's capital, Sanaa.

Jamie McGoldrick of United Nations aid agency OCHA says civilians in Sanaa are "emerging from their houses after five days being locked down, basically prisoners", to seek safety, medical care, fresh water and other survival needs.

It also shatters hopes by Yemen's Saudi-backed government that Saleh's recent split with the Iranian-backed rebels, known as Houthis, would have weakened them and given the government and the Saudi coalition backing a chance for a turning point in the stalemated war that has brought humanitarian disaster. Speaking to reporters by phone from Sanaa, he said that "at the same time, people are bracing themselves for more".

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