Ex-Yemeni strongman Saleh killed by rebels

Ex-Yemeni strongman Saleh killed by rebels

Ex-Yemeni strongman Saleh killed by rebels

Unverified footage circulated on social media appeared to a show corpse resembling Saleh, wrapped in a floral-print blanket with a severe head injury.

We hope Saleh's supporters stop fighting.

Saleh had previously been aligned with the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels before switching sides to an Saudi-led coalition in the country's blood-soaked civil war.

Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses a rally held to mark the 35th anniversary of the establishment of his General People's Congress party.

"Saleh's actions in Yemen, in working with his former opponents the Houthis, were complicating numerous efforts at resolving the conflict", Harrison Akins, a researcher with the Howard Baker Center, told Newsweek. The Associated Press also reported the death. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was circulating widely.

Tensions between the Houthi and Saleh's party rose Wednesday after Saleh's supporters refused access of the Houthis to the Saleh Mosque in the south of Sanaa to secure a religious ceremony to commemorate birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

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Rajah Badie, spokesman for the internationally recognized Yemeni government in exile in Riyadh, told Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV that his forces "call on all Yemenis to support the uprising (being led by Saleh)", and that the uprising "spells the end of Iranian meddling in the country".

The 75-year-old Saleh had previously ruled Yemen for more than three decades after the country's unification but was toppled in 2012 after popular and political pressure during the so-called Arab Spring. He remained in the country, however, and continued to wield power from behind the scenes.

The apparent shift in position came as Saleh's forces battled Houthi fighters in Hadda, a district in southern Sanaa where members of Saleh's family, including his nephew Tareq, live.

Suze van Meegen, Sanaa-based protection and advocacy adviser for the Norwegian Refugee Council, said Monday that the violence left aid workers trapped inside their homes and was "completely paralyzing humanitarian operations". Iran has denied the accusations.

In a televised address, Saleh called for new relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which he and the Houthis have been battling for nearly three years (since March 2015).

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