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Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Yemen rebels claim ex-president Saleh killed

Yemen rebels claim ex-president Saleh killed

"The president has ordered Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who is in Marib (east of Sanaa), to activate military units and advance towards the capital", a presidency official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Saudi Arabia views the Houthis as an Iranian proxy on its doorstep, and the rivalry between the two regional powers has amplified the conflict. A year later, the Saleh's GPC party and Ansarullah, the political arm of the Houthis, signed an agreement to form a political council to run the country.

Yemen's rebel-controlled Interior Ministry says that ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former ally turned adversary of the Huthi rebel militia, has been killed.

A senior Yemeni government official affiliated with Houthis' rivals and some of Saleh's associates, such as Nabil al-Soufi and Ali al-Bukhiti, confirmed his death on social media and TV interviews.

Saudi coalition aircraft had supported Saleh's troops in fighting over the last five days. He did not mention Saleh's death.

An airport source said rebel bases near the location appeared to have been targeted, but the airport itself had not been bombed.

Unverified footage of his bloodied body lolling in a blanket circulated just days after he tore up his alliance with the Houthis following almost three years in which they had jointly battled the Saudi-led coalition that intervened to try to reinstate Yemen's internationally recognised government.

Saleh had on Saturday issued his message to the Saudi-led coalition in a speech broadcast from the studios.

A video circulating online on Monday purported to show Saleh's body, his eyes open but glassy, motionless with a gaping head wound, as he was being carried in a blanket by rebel fighters chanting "God is great" who then dump him into a pick-up truck.

On September 21, 2014, they storm the capital and seize the government headquarters, state radio and military sites after days of clashes.

Residents reported that the situation in Sanaa had calmed.

Three Houthi leaders have so far been killed in the clashes that began on Friday, revealed the source, while noting that there have been more casualties among the militia ranks than among Saleh's forces. Residents and medics told Reuters at least 125 were killed in the fighting on Monday, according to Reuters.

Residents said the warring sides traded heavy automatic and artillery fire as the Houthis advanced in the central Political District, which is a redoubt of Saleh and his family.

The Yemeni interior ministry said in a brief statement,"The end of the treason militias and the killing of its leader", referring to the General People Congress Party, which Saleh led. Tribes who support Saleh have tried to assert control over their areas across the city. "We can't get out of our homes".

Saleh also called for a joint ceasefire between his allies and Houthi rebels, and the Saudi-led coalition, which has been at war with the impoverished country since March 2015.

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