Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed Monday by the Houthi rebels who had been fighting on his behalf for years as fighting continued in the capital Sanaa.
Reuters news agency reported that the Houthi rebels formerly loyal to him blew up Saleh’s house as clashes continued across the capital for a fifth straight day. The Houthis said they ambushed his car, attacking it with rocket-propelled grenades and guns.
Faiqa al-Sayyid, a member of Saleh’s General People’s Congress party, said the former leader was “martyred in the defence of the republic.”
Images and video circulating on social media purported to show Houthi fighters carrying Saleh’s dead body, and the Houthi-controlled Interior Ministry said he had been killed.
Saleh had in recent days publicly split with the Houthis and said on Saturday that he was open to dialogue with a coalition led by Saudi Arabia that intervened in the conflict in March 2015.
Breaking: Houthis' spokesperson declares victory over Saleh forces and assures Yemenis that the traitors have been defeated. Only a few pockets of resistance are left he claims. pic.twitter.com/Aphq8BPuHX
— Ammar Aulaqi (@ammar82) December 4, 2017
The Houthis claimed over the weekend to have rounded up many of Saleh’s supporters, while civilians on social media reported dozens of air raids in Sanaa over the weekend. The Saudi-led coalition is the only party to the conflict known to carry out airstrikes in the capital.
Terrifying video purportedly showing street fighting between Saleh's loyalists and Houthi's in capital Sana'a, Yemen. https://t.co/RsufmW3GYw
— Shuaib M. Almosawa (@Shuaibalmosawa) December 3, 2017
Houthi-controlled television station al-Masirah said the rebels had also seized the home of Saleh’s nephew Tareq.