Ex-Yemeni strongman Saleh killed by rebels

Posted December 05, 2017

The leader of Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels says his forces have killed the country's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh for his "treason".

"The Interior Ministry announces the end of the crisis of militias and the killing of their leader and a number of his criminal supporters", an anchor said on the rebels' Al-Masirah television, referring to armed supporters of Saleh.

Unverified footage circulated by Yemeni social media users on Monday appeared to a show corpse resembling Saleh.

Al Arabiya quoted a source in Saleh's GPC party as saying he was killed by a sniper.

Gun battles between the Houthis and Saleh loyalists erupted in the capital Sanaa on December 3 as residents reported a "street war" between the former allies.

It was the fourth day of clashes sparked by what Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) called an attempt to seize a main mosque in the city.

The source said Saleh's death did not mean the end of the "revolution" against the Houthis, and stated Saleh was now a "martyr of the country".

In a speech late on Sunday, apparently his last, Saleh formally annulled his alliance with the Houthis.

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A senior official with Yemen's internationally-recognized government confirmed to The Associated Press that Saleh had been killed.

"I can hear heavy shelling outside now and know it is too imprecise and too pervasive to guarantee that any of us are safe", she said. But he recently switched his alliance to Saudi Arabia, which has led a three-year bombing campaign against the Houthis in Yemen and implemented a blockade of Yemeni ports.

Saleh, 75, ruled Yemen for more than three decades until his ouster under popular pressure in 2012.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh waves to supporters in Sanaa, Yemen, before his ouster in 2011. He remained in the country, however, and continued to wield power from behind the scenes.

Yemen has since been rocked by rebel infighting.

The country descended into a wider civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people while drawing in a Saudi-led military coalition, backed by the United States.

Almost one million people have been infected by cholera in Yemen this year, including more than 2,200 people who have died, according to the World Health Organization.