Yemen (December 4, 2017): Yemen’s Houthi rebels say former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled the country for more than three decades and played a pivotal role in the country’s ongoing civil war, has been killed.
The Houthi-run Masirah TV announced the death of the “leader of the traitors” on Monday, referring to Saleh, who until last week was in a fragile alliance with the rebels. It gave no further details.
A statement read on the channel announced the “end of the crisis of militias”, referring to Saleh’s armed supporters, and “the killing of their leader and a number of his criminal supporters”.
A senior official with Yemen’s internationally-recognised government confirmed to The Associated Press that Saleh had been killed. He sent a video purportedly showing Saleh’s body being carried away by a group of armed men chanting, “God is Great.”
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak to the press. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was circulating widely.
Gun battles forced shops and schools to close in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Sunday as residents warned a three-year rebel alliance was collapsing into a “street war”.
The Houthi rebels’ partnership with the powerful ex-president appeared to have fallen apart after he reached out to a Saudi-led coalition fighting the insurgents.
The Houthis’ political office on Saturday accused Saleh of staging a “coup” against “an alliance he never believed in”.