Friday, 15 December, 2017

Ex-Yemeni strongman Saleh killed by rebels

Qatar condemns and denies statements regarding Qatari mediation in Yemen Qatar condemns and denies statements regarding Qatari mediation in Yemen  03 Dec 2017- 16:13
Edmund Wade | 05 December, 2017, 01:47

Ali Abdullah Saleh, the ex-president of Yemen has been killed in an attack on his house in Capital Sanaa, media reports said.

"The leader of treason has been killed", Houthis' TV network al-Masriah said. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was circulating widely.

A senior official with Yemen's internationally-recognized government confirmed to The Associated Press that Saleh had been killed, sending video purportedly showing Saleh's body being carried away by a group of armed men chanting, "Allahu akbar".

Saleh then said he is ready for talks with the Saudi-led coalition, a move that the coalition welcomed.

"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.

Yemen has since been rocked by rebel infighting.

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

Inside the city, residents said that Houthi fighters seized television studios of Yemen Today, a news channel owned by Saleh, after clashes that damaged the building.

While some sources affiliated to Saudi lead coalition tried to accuse Yemeni popular Committees of Saleh's killing, all facts on the ground shows he has been killed by Saudi mercenaries.

He told Yemenis all across the country that if they support him, "to defend the nation, the republic and the revolution".

Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad attempted to mediate to end the tension between the two conflicting forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthis in Sanaa.

It was a grisly end for a figure who was able to rule the impoverished and unstable country for more than three decades and remained a powerhouse even after he was ousted in a 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the civil war, which is viewed as a proxy struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In other areas like Fag Attan, Saleh's forces are still surrounded by Houthis. He remained in the country, however, and continued to wield political power from behind the scenes.

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