World News

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed in Sana'a

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed in Sana'a

Houthi rebels claim they have gained control of most of Yemen's capital Sanaa, a claim denied by forces loyal to the country's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"Our appeals to the leader of the conference were met with a negative attitude", Houthi said.

Former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh's has been reported killed.

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

Houthi militias had earlier confirmed that they killed Saleh by attacking his auto with sniper bullets and rocket-propelled grenades.

This piece has been updated to show that the General Peopel's Congress has confirmed Saleh's death. Saudi Arabia views the Houthis as an Iranian proxy on its doorstep, and the rivalry between the two regional powers has amplified the conflict.

Earlier on Sunday, the Yemeni ministry said that dozens of Saleh militiamen were arrested, stressing that the "conspiracy" plotted by Saleh against Ansarullah movement was contained and that security was restored to Sanaa.

Saleh and his supporters formed an alliance with the country's Houthi rebels in 2014 against the internationally recognised government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, Saleh's successor.




The fighting in the capital of Sanaa caused residents to cower in their homes as explosions rocked the city overnight.

BBC World Service journalist Mai Noman said: "Saleh's death: shocking not just bec he ruled #Yemen for over 30yrs, he's been the key player in every major event even after being ousted".

The news that Saleh had been killed came just hours after Saudi Arabia chose to back Saleh, calling his fight against the Houthis a "popular uprising".

This is the first such airdrop in Sanaa since the start of the fighting three days ago and the ferocious fighting in the country's capital might enter a new phase following the Saudi intervention with providing logistical support for Saleh, according to local observers.

The violence comes amid a civil war in which renegade soldiers loyal to Saleh and Houthi militants had together been fighting pro-government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition. The Houthis appeared to be targeting the homes of Saleh's family, political allies and commanders in this most recent round of fighting.

However their alliance has been marked with tensions with news this weekend that Saleh was happy to begin talks with Saudi Arabia to end the conflict in the country which has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 11 per cent of the country's population.

But they vied for supremacy over the territory they ran together, including Sanaa, which the Houthis seized in September 2014, and their feud burst into open combat on Wednesday.


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