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Yemen's Saleh killed by former allies

05 December 2017, 01:39 | Rodolfo Wallace

Hani Mohammed AP

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Today the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh lies dead, killed in an ambush by his former allies, the Houthi rebels.

Saleh's General People's Congress party confirmed his death and blamed the rebels. On Dec. 3, Saleh formally dissolved his alliance with the Houthis.

Footage circulating on social media appeared to display a body resembling Saleh, with one video showing how armed militiamen used a blanket to move the corpse into the back of a pick-up truck. Houthi sources said Saleh was killed by the rebels in a rocket-propelled grenade and shooting attack on his vehicle at a checkpoint outside Sanaa.

Residents reported that the situation in Sanaa had calmed.

Yasser al-Awadi, the GPC's assistant secretary-general, was also killed.

The Houthi-run Masirah TV announced the death of the "leader of the traitors" on Monday, referring to Saleh, who until last week was in a fragile alliance with the rebels. Meanwhile, aerial bombardment and blockades of Yemeni territory, carried out with the assistance of Western powers, have put millions of civilians in the impoverished country at risk of mass starvation. The assassination of Saleh aims to thwart the reconciliation project.As long as we realize that Saleh's assassination aimed to thwart reconciliation, we must work toward making it succeed.What Saleh did in the last four days before his assassination is the most important event since the war erupted three years ago.

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Albukhaiti said that fighters had secured key areas south of the capital, including the "very strategic" al-Mesbahi residential area, which is approximately 200 metres from Saleh's home.

Analysts said Mr Saleh's death would be a huge moral boost for the Houthis and serious blow to the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in the conflict to try to restore the internationally recognised President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's Government.

The Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the November 5 explosion in Riyadh, saying they fired a long-range ballistic missile that travelled more than 800km over the border with Saudi Arabia.

"You can not say this is the end of his political movement, but it's a very big blow", he said. He did not mention Saleh's death.

"This will not bring Yemen any closer to an end in fighting", said al-Masmari.

"We have notified the leader of the traitor and criminal militias to retract, be wise, to stop his militias from continuing committing crimes", he said. It was said that they were the strongest party, and that any attempt at driving them out would lead to a bloody war between the two parties in the city's historic streets.

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