Wednesday 19 September 2018

Rebels claim Yemen's strongman ex-president has been killed

Yemen's uprising, inspired by Arab Spring revolts elsewhere, forced longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh out of office in February
Yemen's uprising, inspired by Arab Spring revolts elsewhere, forced longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh out of office in February

Ahmed Al-Haj

Yemen's 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 country's Houthi rebels have said.

The Houthi-run Masirah TV announced the death of the "leader of the traitors" on Monday, referring to Mr Saleh, who until last week was in a fragile alliance with the rebels.

It gave no further details.

A senior official with Yemen's internationally-recognised government confirmed Mr Saleh had been killed.

He sent a video purportedly showing Mr Saleh's body being carried away by a group of armed men chanting, "God is Great".

It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was circulating widely.

Mr Saleh ruled Yemen for more than three decades until he was forced to resign following an Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

He remained in the country, however, and continued to wield power from behind the scenes.

In 2014, his forces allied with the Houthis despite the fact that as president he had gone to war with them on more than one occasion.

The rebel alliance splintered last week, setting off heavy clashes between the Houthis and Mr Saleh's forces.

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