Ex-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed by Houthi forces

Ex-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed by Houthi forces

Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed in fighting with the Iran-aligned Houthi militia raging in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

"Our appeals to the leader of the conference were met with a negative attitude", Houthi said.

Earlier on Monday, Al Arabia reported violent clashes on the southern outskirts of the Yemeni capital, where the former president's house is located.

The rebel leader claimed many ordinary Yemenis were shocked by (Saleh's) calls for strife, combat, upsetting peace and security, and he says he tried in a fraternal and peaceful way to avoid the current conflict by talking (with Saleh). His party's alliance with the Houthis disintegrated and the two sides fought bloody clashes in Sanaa, the capital, that killed dozens of people. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was circulating widely on social media.

Saleh ruled Yemen for more than three decades until he was forced to resign following an Arab Spring uprising in 2011, but remained as a key player in national politics and the subsequent civil war.

Unverified footage circulated showing his bloodied body, just days after he tore up his alliance with the Houthis following almost three years in which they had jointly battled the Saudi-led coalition.

Saudi Arabia along with other Sunni Muslim countries intervened to reinstate the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by the Houthis in 2014.

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A military commander loyal to Saleh told Xinhua by phone saying that "overnight, the coalition planes airdropped weapons and different kinds of communications equipment to the commanders who are leading the anti-Houthi uprising in Sanaa". Though he was deposed in 2012, he remained a key factor in the country's ongoing resistance to the Saudi-led, US and British-backed war against the country, allying his forces with Houthi rebels.

Yemen has since been rocked by rebel infighting.

The United Nations called for a humanitarian pause in Sanaa between the hours of 10 am and 4pm to allow civilians to leave their homes, aid workers to reach them, and the wounded to get medical care.

Mr Hadi, in a speech carried live on Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV, called for a new chapter in the battle against the Houthis after Mr Saleh's death.

But they vied for supremacy over the territory they ran together, including Sanaa, which the Houthis seized in September 2014, and their feud burst into open combat on Wednesday.

The Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the rebels in March 2015 and later expanded into ground operations.

Yemen has been decimated by almost three years of fighting and a Saudi-led bombing campaign backed by the United States.

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