Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed

Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed

Darren Sullivan
December 5, 2017

Activists also published pictures and a video showing Saleh's body as gunmen put it behind a wheel amid cheers, in a scene reminiscent of the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011. Saleh's eyes appear wide open, the back of his head badly injured, and his shirt blood stained under a dark suit.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to speak to the press.

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

Several Houthi military officials said Mr Saleh was killed as he headed along with top party leaders from Sanaa to his hometown of Sanhan, nearby.

He stressed that the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, have no enmity toward Saleh's party, the General People's Congress, which was Yemen's ruling party under Saleh but is now divided.

Iran's FARS News Agency reported Saleh was killed while trying to escape from Sanaa on an armed vehicle, which was hit and destroyed, though that could not be immediately confirmed.

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".

Alleged body of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Arabic Alleged body of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh

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.

Saleh ruled for 33 years before being toppled in 2012 during popular protests.

Former president Saleh and the Yemeni military fought the Houthi rebels five times from 2005 to 2014, before becoming allies after the Saudi-led coalition took military action in March 2015 to restore President Hadi to power, who had been ousted and imprisoned by the Houthis.

Suze van Meegen, Sanaa-based protection and advocacy adviser for the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the AP the violence left aid workers trapped inside their homes and was "completely paralyzing humanitarian operations".

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

In a televised address, Saleh called for new relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which he and the Houthis have been battling for nearly three years (since March 2015).

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