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Ex-Yemeni President Killed by Huthi Rebels

Ex-Yemeni President Killed by Huthi Rebels

Residents said that they saw fighters hand themselves in and others withdraw from their positions.

The December 4 statement came as video footage emerged showing what appeared to be Saleh's corpse. "It killed everyone", said local resident Aly Al Mazhary.

For his part, Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi called on Saleh to end what he called "the sectarian strife" that he has instigated, and threatened to take action against his supporters militarily if he does not.

Yemen's rebel-controlled Interior Ministry says that ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former ally turned adversary of the Huthi rebel militia, has been killed.

"The leader of treason has been killed", Houthis' TV network al-Masriah said.

"The Houthis executed Saleh and maimed his body and this is against humanity, but the Houthis do not understand humanity", said the source. He added that he had sent several warnings to Saleh. "It's a dark day for the forces of the coalition". The Houthis dominate the northern part of the city, while Saleh's forces hold the southern part, with much of the current fighting concentrated around the Political District, home to ministries and foreign embassies.

The Houthis retaliated to the Saleh advance by deploying four tanks on the streets of Sana'a in order to intimidate and terrorize the people and dissuade them from backing the former president. "He was trying to flee to Saudi", he said. Saleh's eyes appear wide open, the back of his head badly injured, and his shirt blood stained under a dark suit.

Yemen's former president on Saturday proposed talks with Saudi Arabia after an apparent split in the rebel alliance that could change the course of the war that has left thousands dead and the country on the brink of starvation.

Saleh on Saturday broke a three-year alliance with the Iran-backed Huthis, opening the door to negotiations with neighbouring Saudi Arabia for the lifting of a crippling blockade. It gave no further details.

Conflict in Yemen
Conflict in Yemen

Two of Mr Saleh's associates and a third official from the government of Yemen's internationally recognised president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, have confirmed the death.

One shows a group of fighters carrying the body in a sheet proclaiming "God is Great".

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the press. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was circulating widely.

Saleh ruled for 33 years before being toppled in 2012 during popular protests. He remained in the country, however, and continued to wield power from behind the scenes.

Saudi Arabia views the Houthis as an Iranian proxy located just next door.

But even without Saleh's loyalists, the rebels remain a powerful force and it is unclear how much the break with Saleh weakens them.

The head of the Houthis' Ansarullah group warned that the biggest victor from what he described as Saleh's "sedition" was the Saudi-led coalition.

In May 2015, following Saudi-led coalition air raids on his home in Sanaa, Saleh officially announced for the first time the establishment of his alliance with the Houthis.

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