Houthi rebels claim death of Yemen’s ex-president
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 12/04/17, 10:36 am
Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Monday claimed they killed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh amid days of continued fighting between the group’s two factions. The Houthi-run Masirah TV announced Saleh’s death, but his supporters denied he died in the fighting. Unconfirmed video footage circulated among Yemeni social media users showed a corpse resembling Saleh surrounded by militia fighters shouting, “Allah is great.” Renewed clashes between the two groups that began on Wednesday have killed at least 125 people and injured 238 others, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen. Residents remained trapped in their homes overnight as loud explosions and gunfire rocked Sana’a, the capital city. Saleh’s fighters and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels joined forces three years ago to seize control of Sana’a, forcing President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to flee the country. The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition has continued to fight the Houthis since 2015. In a televised speech Saturday, Saleh called on the Saudi coalition to lift its blockade on Yemen, saying they will “turn a new page by virtue of our neighborliness.” The Houthis accused Saleh of betraying them and never believing in their partnership. The Saudi-led coalition threw its efforts behind Saleh’s forces and deployed fighter jets against the Houthi rebels.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.