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Yemen: Ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed

05 December 2017

Yemen's ex-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed by Houthi rebels near the capital, Sanaa.

Sources in the Houthi militia said its fighters stopped Mr Saleh's armoured vehicle with an RPG rocket outside the embattled capital Sanaa on Monday and then shot him dead.

Saleh was killed by Houthis in a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and shooting attack on his auto at a checkpoint outside Sana'a, according to Al Jazeera.

In a statement carried by the Saudi-owned Al-Hadath channel, the coalition said it was "confident of the will of the leaders and sons" of Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party to return to Arab fold.

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The whereabouts of Saleh's son, and political heir, Tareq, who was leading the fight against the Houthis in the capital at the head of the Presidential Guard regiment remain unclear.

Yemen's civil war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting almost one million people and put the country on the brink of starvation.

It was a bitter end for the former president who had ruled the north of Yemen and then a united north and south for almost 34 years.

In a live television address last night President Hadi, the country's officially recognised leader, called on... He finally left power in early 2012, but retained a strong influence with many armed loyalists in the country.

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In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition intervened to reinstate Hadi's government.

Mack told VOA, before news of Mr. Saleh's death, the former president "wanted to have one chance to restore his reputation, which has been terribly, terribly damaged during the past decade". Three months later, 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.

The tactical alliance between Saleh and the Houthis had often appeared fragile, with both groups suspicious of each other's ultimate motives and sharing little ideological ground. He also succeeded in playing rivals off against one another and positioning himself as a counterterrorism ally of the United States, while also aligning with Iran and other parties when necessary. His death puts the exclamation point on the end of an era in Yemen that had, for all intents and purposes, already come to a close. 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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Yemen: Ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed